Murder suspect appears in court

Oregon man charged in April stabbing death of Vancouver man

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: June 20, 2012, 5:35 PM

 

An Oregon man made his first appearance Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court in connection to the April stabbing death of a Vancouver man.

Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Munoz, 32, of Beaverton is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jose Luis Chavira-Cruz, 37.

Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino requested $1 million bail, citing the seriousness of the allegations and calling Gonzalez-Munoz a flight risk.

“Mr. Gonzalez was picked up in California. There are indications when he was found in California that he was fleeing the state and also trying to flee the country,” Gasperino said.

Since Gonzalez-Munoz did not have an attorney before Wednesday’s hearing, Clark County Superior Court Judge Diane Woolard postponed deciding bail until Thursday morning.

In the meantime, Woolard appointed attorney Charles Buckley to represent Gonzalez-Munoz.

The homicide came to light April 25 when the victim’s girlfriend filed a missing persons report with the Hillsboro, Ore., Police Department. However, it took several weeks for the case to unfold.

Gonzalez-Munoz was arrested on May 10 in Roseville, Calif., after he was found to be in possession of Chavira-Cruz’s debit cards. Questioned by investigators, Gonzalez-Munoz admitted being involved in the killing of Chavira-Cruz in the parking lot of the Evergreen Pointe Apartments, 4503 E. Fifth St., where the victim lived. The defendant said the stabbing happened on April 13.

He claimed that a man named “Gordo” committed the actual stabbing; however, investigators said they have been unable to determine whether there even is a “Gordo.”

Gonzalez-Munoz allegedly admitted helping dump the victim’s body in a remote area of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation off Highway 26 in Oregon, according to court documents. On May 24, authorities recovered the body.

A warrant was issued for his arrest on June 6, while Gonzalez-Munoz was already in custody in Washington County, Ore., on suspicion of a theft charge. He was extradited to Clark County this week.

Gonzalez-Munoz is being held in the Clark County Jail without bail.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts; www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker; laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts;www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker;laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.