Four Defendants Accept Plea Bargains in Ambush Killing in SJC

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - Four defendants involved in an ambush killing of a man stabbed to death near Trabuco Creek in San Juan Capistrano were sentenced Monday to life terms.

Just as jury selection was expected to begin in his trial, Brion Cairo Hyde, 28, accepted a plea deal Monday. Hyde pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of 38-year-old Alvario Rios. He also pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for killing his former cellmate, 57-year-old Kirk Price, while Price was awaiting trial on a charge of killing 44-year-old Fahness Lutalo at a mixed martial arts facility in March 2016.

Hyde, who was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the Rios killing, is expected to get 11 years for Price's killing, a sentence that would run concurrently with the life term for the Rios murder. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped a sentencing enhancement for lying in wait, which would have mandated a life in prison without the possibility of parole punishment.

Co-defendants Anjelica Marie Shibata, 34, of San Juan Capistrano, Ashkan Dezhangfard, 28, of San Juan Capistrano, and Siavash Hosseinaliarhani, 25, of Laguna Niguel, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder just as attorneys were picking a jury for their trial.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue sentenced Shibata, Dezhangfard and Hosseinaliarhani to 15 years to life in prison. All four were given credit for 2,385 days in custody.

Shibata and Hyde were living together as a couple in San Juan Capistrano, but Shibata was also romantically involved with Rios when the married father was killed, authorities said.

When Hyde found out about the infidelity he confronted Shibata, who accused Rios of raping her, authorities said. Prosecutors do not believe the rape claim was true, and some of the defense attorneys were expected to argue at trial that some of the accused expected the confrontation to be a beat down instead of a killing.

Hyde was considered the mastermind behind the plot and suspected of stabbing the victim nearly 30 times, authorities said.

Shibata asked Rios to meet her in a remote area near a bike path in San Juan Capistrano in the early morning of July 12, 2016. All of the defendants were there when Rios was attacked and left for dead. A jogger found the body the next day and called the sheriff's department.

When Rios' wife found out about the affair, she started posting negative comments about Shibata on Facebook, according to Jones' attorney Doug Myers

Myers alleged that two of the defendants brought knives to the planned beating and attacked the victim, but it is unclear which defendant dealt the fatal wound.

Ryan Timothy Huebner, 27, pleaded guilty April 30, 2021, to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Huebner is eligible for parole in December 2024, according to state prison records.

Myles Emmanuel Jones, 27, of Laguna Hills pleaded guilty on Nov. 8, 2019, to voluntary manslaughter. Jones, who has been in jail since July 22, 2016, is set to be sentenced Thursday. Jones and Huebner were on the witness list for prosecutors in the upcoming trial.

Jones, who also faces 11 years in prison, was expected to have his murder charge dismissed after testifying in the trial.

Several relatives of Rios told Donahue how his death affected the extended family.

Rios' daughter, Alissa  Rios, said she was 16 when her father was killed. She said she was the first in her family to graduate from college and lamented how her father missed seeing her play vollyeball in college and will miss her upcoming marriage.

"He won't be able to walk me down the aisle," she said. "He was taken from us and will never come back. My life was altered forever because his life was taken."

Rios' uncle, Adam Rios, remembered going to see his nephew playing Pop Warner football games growing up.

"My family is very hardworking. He was a hard-working kid," Adam Rios said. "It's not fair. You don't know the effect this has had on our family. ... I hope you guys rot in prison and never get out."

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