Sentencing for the man who gunned down a female Navy corpsman at an Oceanside apartment complex nearly four years ago was postponed, the prosecutor said Friday.
The sentencing hearing was continued until Aug. 5, as the court awaits a probation report, according to deputy district attorney Keith Watanabe.
Eduardo Arriola, 29, faces life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He was convicted by a Vista jury last month of first-degree murder, plus a special-circumstance allegation of lying in wait, for the July 20, 2018, killing of 24-year-old Devon Rideout.
Watanabe said Rideout’s mother and co-workers read a victim impact statement on Friday, but sentencing was delayed because Arriola’s probation report wasn’t ready.
Both Arriola and Rideout were residents of an apartment building at 550 Los Arbolitos Blvd., where prosecutors allege Arriola shot her multiple times around 4 p.m. that day. She died at the scene, according to Oceanside police.
Prosecutors say Rideout, Arriola’s downstairs neighbor and a Navy hospital corpsman stationed at Camp Pendleton, was walking her dog when she was shot. After the shooting, he repeatedly claimed to bystanders that she was a trespasser.
Investigators searched the defendant’s car and found the victim’s last name scrawled in black permanent ink on the car’s radiator tank. A list of other names and words were also written on the tank, with the final entry “R.I.P.” concluding the list.
Arriola was a former Marine who was discharged for desertion and later diagnosed with schizophrenia, leading to four hearings between the killing and his trial to determine whether he was mentally competent to stand trial. Three separate doctors found him competent, according to court documents.
Rideout’s mother has since sued the federal government for allegedly failing to prevent Arriola from legally purchasing the murder weapon, which he bought at an Oceanside firing range about two months prior to the killing.
The lawsuit alleges that with Arriola’s diagnosis and his discharge from the military, a background check should have prevented him from buying the gun. The Aug. 5 sentencing for Arriola is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Department 23 of the Superior Court North County Division in Vista.
– City News Service