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Santa Rosa man faces murder charge in weekend shooting

A Santa Rosa man suspected of shooting to death another man in a late-night confrontation appeared in court Tuesday where he was arraigned on murder and two other felony charges.

Latroy Denard Clinton Sr., 39, is accused in Saturday's slaying of Oscar Valencia, 23, of Santa Rosa outside a house near Cumberland Street and Homestead Lane.

Police said the two exchanged words in what appeared to be a random encounter and Clinton shot Valencia in the head with a large-caliber handgun.

Valencia's cousin, Jessica Torres, 22, said his parents were devastated and "just trying to stay strong," she said.

Valencia was "at the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.

His cousin described the man as a "goofy" music lover who worked for a local winery. At family gatherings, he'd be the one to step up when cumbia music moved her to get up and dance.

"I'd always ask my uncles dance with me dance with me, everybody would tell me no. And when I'd get to Oscar he'd say, &‘Alright.' He never told me no," she said.

Friday night, Valencia had been out dancing at clubs with his brother and two of their friends, according to police.

They had dropped off a group of female friends at a home near Cumberland Street and Homestead Lane and were waiting outside sometime before 2 a.m. Saturday, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Steve Fraga said.

Around that time, Clinton arrived home to an adjacent house, Fraga said. Neighbors reported hearing an argument and a shot fired.

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