Killed by gun June 8, 1999 Age 15
On the morning of June 8, 1999, seventeen-year-old Olivia Munguia and her cousin, fifteen-year-old Jessica Zavala were shot to death as they walked to school in Lynwood, California. The gunman, twenty-year-old Juan Manuel Casillas, was angry with Olivia Munguia because she had recently broken off their dating relationship. In the days prior to the shooting, Casillas stalked and threatened Olivia Munguia.
The police investigation revealed that Casillas approached the two girls with a gun as they walked down the street. Casillas fired five rounds into Olivia Munguia’s back, and one round into Jessica Zavala’s back. Witnesses observed Casillas flee from the scene. Olivia and Jessica were taken to the hospital where they both died as a result of the gunshot wounds.
After the police investigation, Casillas was charged with two counts of murder. Before officers could arrest him, Casillas, a Mexican national, fled to Mexico. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office waived the death penalty and requested extradition. Mexico denied the request to extradite Casillas because he would face a potential sentence of life without parole. Once extradition was denied, Mexico prosecuted Casillas for the murders.
In 2002, Mexican authorities informed the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department that Casillas was convicted and sentenced to sixty years in prison. The victims’ family was never notified of the trial. They were not provided any opportunity to be heard at Casillas’ sentencing hearing. They doubt the authenticity of the sentence and believe that Casillas will be able to·buy his freedom. Under current state law California can never prosecute Casillas for these murders because he was already tried in Mexico.