California Couple Charged in Fatal Road Rage Shooting of 6-Year-Old Aiden Leos
Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23, are facing multiple criminal charges in connection to the May 21 death of Aiden Leos, who authorities say was fatally shot while riding to school with his mother
A California couple is facing multiple criminal charges in connection to the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old boy in what authorities believe was a road rage incident.
Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, has been charged with murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle, with sentencing enhancements for his alleged role in the killing of Aiden Leos, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer announced in news conference on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Wynne Lee, 23, has been charged with accessory after the fact and concealing a firearm, according to Spitzer.
Based on a review of the evidence, prosecutors could not file a murder charge against Lee at this time, Spitzer said. According to the district attorney, investigators believe Lee was driving the vehicle while Eriz fired the gun.
"We would not file these charges if we could not prove them beyond a reasonable doubt," Spitzer said. "With respect to the charges against both, I absolutely am convinced they're rock solid."
If convicted of her charges, Lee will face three years in state prison with an additional year for the firearm charge, which is a misdemeanor.
"Mr. Eriz, if he is convicted on any or both charges, will spend a significant portion of his adult life in prison," Spitzer noted to reporters.
Prosecutors have asked to increase Eriz's bail to $2 million and reduce Lee's bail to $500,000 based on their respective charges.
An arraignment for the pair has been postponed until June 18, CBSLA reported. It's unclear if they have obtained legal representation who can speak on their behalf.
Eriz and Lee were arrested on Sunday night - one day after a memorial service for Aiden, who died on May 21.
The boy was riding in the backseat of his mother's car on his way to kindergarten around 8 a.m. when a suspect opened fire into the vehicle on the 55 Freeway in the city of Orange, according to California Highway Patrol.
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Joanna Cloonan, Aiden's mother, said in an interview with Good Morning America that she was driving northbound in the carpool lane when a white sedan abruptly cut her off.
Relatives told KTLA that Cloonan made a gesture at the car. A few moments later, the other vehicle pulled behind Cloonan's car and an occupant fired at the back of it.
"As I started to merge away from them, I heard a really loud noise," Cloonan told GMA. "And my son said, 'Ow,' and I had to pull over. And he got shot."
Aiden was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At the memorial service, Cloonan said of him, "You loved to play with toys for hours. You would create a whole world with characters within your vivid imagination," reports NBC Los Angeles.
She added: "Violence is an unacceptable way to settle our differences and because of this my son lost his life."
A GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the family had raised more than $347,000 by Tuesday afternoon.