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Verdict reached in Orcutt murder trial

Posted at 4:07 PM, Nov 16, 2018

Jurors reached a verdict Friday in the trial of a man charged for a deadly shooting outside an Orcutt bar in 2017.

Jonathan Highley was found guilty of first-degree murder for the death of Tony San Juan, 43.

Highley shot San Juan in the head outside Elmer’s bar early in the morning on March 4, 2017.

Highley testified that he’d been drinking for hours before the shooting and said while he realized he had killed someone, he did not remember shooting San Juan.

Multiple witnesses testified that Highley was combative with other patrons at the bar that night, that he had been kicked out, and that they remembered seeing him with a gun.

Jonathan Highley appears in court for his murder trial on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. (KSBY photo)


San Juan was married and a father of two children.

Highley and his wife, Mayra Perez, were arrested hours after San Juan was killed.

Perez pleaded no contest to being an accessory to murder after the fact and aiding and abetting. She was sentenced last August to a year in jail with credit for time served.

Highley is expected to return to court for sentencing on Jan. 11, 2019. He faces up to life in prison.

Previous coverage:
Jury selection begins in trial for man charged with murder of Santa Maria man
Witnesses in Orcutt murder trial describe scene of shooting outside popular bar
Orcutt murder trial continues with more witness testimony
Man charged with Murder for Orcutt bar shooting testifies at trial
Jury deliberating fate of Orcutt bar shooting suspect