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Hate Crime Charges Filed in Stabbings

June 23, 2002|From Associated Press

Four reputed gang members were charged Friday with murder and committing a hate crime in connection with the deadly stabbing of a gay man outside a bar.

The men appeared in Superior Court, but their arraignment was postponed to Monday.

Witnesses said one attacker yelled an anti-gay slur before stabbing Jeffery Owens, 40, of Moreno Valley and Michael Bussee, 48, of Riverside, on June 5 in the parking lot of Menagerie. The two had been at the bar to celebrate a friend's birthday.

Owens, an AIDS activist, was stabbed at least four times and died at a hospital.

Viviano Cruz Martin, 25; Miguel Angel Ramos, 28; Ramin Meza Rabago, 18; and Dorian Lee Gutierrez, 18, all of Riverside, were arrested Wednesday.

They were charged Friday with murder and allegations that the killing was a hate crime and done as part of gang activity. Gutierrez also was charged with attempted murder for the alleged stabbing of Bussee.

Another man, David Martinez, 28, of Riverside, surrendered Friday and was charged with murder and the allegation of gang activity.

They could face life in prison if convicted of all charges.

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