- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—A man stabbed to death last week in Atwater was identified Monday as a Turlock resident.

Juan Guizar Villano, 36, was killed Thursday at a home in the 1500 block of High Street in Atwater, the Merced County Coroner’s Office confirmed Monday.

The suspect in the death, 40-year-old Juan Jose Avina-Meza, was arrested that day by Atwater police.

Lt. Samuel Joseph said he could not comment on a possible motive. Police have said alcohol was likely a factor in the confrontation that erupted during the large house party.

Steve Slocum, a supervising deputy district attorney in Merced County, said prosecutors were still reviewing the case late Monday and had yet to reach a decision on filing charges.

Slocum also confirmed prosecutors were waiting for reports in an unrelated homicide arrest that also came Thursday in Merced.

Francisco Arciga is suspected in the May 7, 2014, slaying of Luis Angel Zavaleta, who was shot to death in the 600 block of West Eighth Street, according to Merced police.

Arciga was already in custody in connection with another shooting in February on M Street, police have said.

Anyone who might have information on the Zavaleta homicide case can contact Detective Paul Johnson at 209-385-7742. Tips are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.


(c)2015 the Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.)

Visit the Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.) at www.mercedsunstar.com

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