A California man is found guilty of murder for killing a 6-year-old boy in a freeway shooting

Jan 25, 2024, 11:54 AM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A jury on Thursday convicted a California man of murder for shooting to death a 6-year-old boy who was riding in the back of his mother’s car on a busy freeway.

Jurors in Orange County found 26-year-old Marcus Eriz guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Aiden Leos, who was strapped in a booster seat on his way to kindergarten. They also found him guilty of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle.

Authorities said Eriz and his girlfriend, Wynne Lee, were heading to work on May 21, 2021, when Lee cut off a car driven by Aiden’s mother, who responded with a rude gesture. Eriz pulled out a gun, reached out the window and fired a shot at the mother’s car that went through the trunk and pierced Aiden’s heart, authorities said.

The shooting shocked the county of 3 million, which relies heavily on a network of freeways to get to work and school, and drew international attention as authorities searched more than two weeks for the killer.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard M. King thanked jurors and told them free counseling was available for them if needed.

“This has been a very trying case,” he said before dismissing them.

Eriz is scheduled to be sentenced April 12. He is being held without bail.

Lee, who has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact, is being tried separately.

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A California man is found guilty of murder for killing a 6-year-old boy in a freeway shooting