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Santa Maria man charged with murder for woman's death on State Street

The victim has been identified as a 50-year-old woman
State Street Closed .jpg
Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 16, 2022

A felony charge of first-degree murder has been filed against the man Santa Barbara police say robbed and killed a woman along State Street earlier this week.

Gabriel Jose Zepeda, 46, of Santa Maria was arrested following the early-morning death on Monday of Theresa Carina, 50, along State Street near Stearns Wharf.

Zepeda, who police say is a transient and was on probation after being released from jail on March 10, was taken into custody near the 2900 block of State Street. Police say they tracked him with his GPS ankle monitor.

His location and physical evidence reportedly linked him to the Carina’s death.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office says the murder was willful, premeditated and deliberate and along with first-degree murder, Zepeda is also facing special circumstances of robbery and committing the murder while out of bail on his own recognizance.

The DA’s Office says Zepeda has prior strike and serious felony conviction on his record.

He was in court Wednesday morning for his arraignment, which was continued to April 18, and is being held without bail.

The DA’s Office is asking anyone with information to contact Santa Barbara Police Detective Adam Mik at (805) 897-2300.