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O.C. man guilty of killing friend with shotgun blast to the face

November 1, 2012 |  1:53 pm

BaltazarAn Orange County man was convicted Thursday of fatally shooting a friend with a single shotgun blast to the face at point-blank range, prosecutors said.

Peter Albert Baltazar, 37, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of first-degree murder, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office. He faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced in January.

Prosecutors said that on the night of March 2, 2009, Baltazar was riding in the back seat of a van driven by James Arrecis. When Arrecis parked the van, Baltazar followed him and shot him in the face with a single shotgun blast, authorities said.

Arrecis died at the scene.

Prosecutors said Baltazar drove the van back to his home in Anaheim, where he changed clothes and then hid out in other homes to avoid being caught by police, prosecutors said.

Baltazar became a person of interest to Brea police investigators after they found his name on a phone list in the victim's possession at the time of his death, prosecutors said.

He was arrested Oct. 7, 2009, at Pelican Bay State Prison, where he was serving time for a parole violation after a 2003 robbery.

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— Rick Rojas

Photo: Peter Baltazar. Credit: Anahiem Police Department.

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