A judge today dropped charges against a man recently arrested in connection with a 15-year-old homicide.
Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Alan B. Haber dismissed a charge of involuntary manslaughter against Juvenal Camarena Mena, 51, of San Fernando. Defense attorney Michael Plotkin asked that the case be dismissed on the grounds that the law requires prosecutors to file involuntary manslaughter charges against a suspect within three years after a crime is committed.
Mena originally was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Carlos Rodriguez Camacho, 32, outside the victim's Chatsworth apartment during a drunken argument Jan. 12, 1974. That charge was later reduced to involuntary manslaughter because of a lack of evidence.
Mena, whom police said they could not find for 15 years, was arrested in Burbank in February after he was stopped for a traffic violation. Plotkin said his client owns a house in San Fernando and has lived in that community for 15 years.