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West Ventura County Focus

OXNARD : Suspect Held in Killing of Musician

September 01, 1993|JULIE FIELDS

A 67-year-old Oxnard man has been arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing an accordion player who came to Oxnard three months ago to earn money for his family in Mexico.

Rosario Valenzuela of Oxnard is accused of killing Jose Daniel Garduno Acosta, 46, after an argument Monday afternoon in the housing complex where they both lived.

Acosta was found about 5 p.m. bleeding on a sidewalk in the 100 block of East Sixth Street and died at St. John's Regional Medical Center at 5:45 p.m. as the result of a wound to the heart, Deputy Coroner Mitch Breese said.

Acosta's friends and fellow musicians gathered Tuesday to mourn him at the small complex where he lived and to organize a collection to pay for his body to be shipped to Mexico.

Acosta was from the city of Morelia in the state of Michoacan. He is survived by a wife and five children, four of whom still live in Mexico.

He and three other musicians from his hometown came to Oxnard three months ago to earn money playing in downtown Oxnard bars and restaurants. He sent money home to his family and rented a tiny room for $300 a month with two other musicians.

Enrique Valdez Garcia, Acosta's roommate, described the victim as a good musician and hard worker who nightly strolled the streets of Oxnard playing his accordion. Each musician earned $250 to $300 a week, he said.

Garcia said Acosta, who learned to play the accordion when he was 18, persuaded the other musicians to come to Oxnard.

Garcia said he was in the room when Acosta got into an argument with a man. The two then went outside. Later, someone ran to tell Garcia that Acosta had been stabbed.

Oxnard Police Sgt. Charles Dunham said Valenzuela lived in the same housing complex as Acosta and was a casual acquaintance.

"They probably did not even know each other by name," he said.

Detectives were puzzled over what started the argument and what provoked Valenzuela to act so violently.

"We're satisfied that we have the right person," Dunham said. "It's a matter of making sure everybody who may have something to offer is interviewed and details are included in the report."

Police arrested Valenzuela about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday as he left a friend's house in Port Hueneme where he had spent the night. He did not resist arrest.

Dunham said detectives tracked down Valenzuela after several of Acosta's friends in the housing complex identified him as having been present during the incident.

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