Man convicted in murder of police officer pleads guilty to conspiracy to dissuade a witness

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man already sentenced to more than 85 years to life
behind bars for failing to tell law enforcement about armed people holed up in
his apartment, leading to the death of a San Diego police officer, pleaded
guilty Wednesday to a related charge of conspiracy to dissuade a witness from
testifying.

Alex Charfauros, 29, was convicted last year of second-degree murder in
connection with the death of Officer Christopher Wilson in an Oct. 27, 2010,
shootout.

As his trial approached, Charfauros was charged with talking with a
former cellmate and the former cellmate's girlfriend about a witness in the
murder case.

Charfauros will be sentenced on April 24 to a year in prison consecutive
to the 85 years to life, plus 11 years, he received last September.

In a plea agreement attachment, Charfauros admitted that after receiving
police reports in the case, he learned by reading the witness statement of
Kristoffer Macalma that Macalma told police investigators that Charfauros knew
his former roommate, Holim Lee, kept firearms at their apartment prior to the
shootout that claimed Wilson's life.

Charfauros admitted that he wanted to keep Macalma from coming to court
and testifying about what he told police.

Charfauros said he agreed with former cellmate Rodney Gozum and Gozum's
girlfriend, Jasmine Fontanoza that by spreading the word that Macalma was a
“snitch,” other people would use force and/or fear to try to prevent Macalma
from testifying in court.

Both Gozum and Fontanoza pleaded guilty in the case.

The night of Oct. 27, 2010, probation officers and U.S. marshals went to
Charfauros' apartment on South Meadowbrook Drive. Probation officers were
checking on Charfauros, and the marshals were looking for Lee, who had
outstanding warrants for assault and a probation violation, prosecutor Michael
Runyon said.

Another man opened the door and said Charfauros wasn't home, then
slammed it shut. Officers forced entry into the apartment and Charfauros came
crawling out of the east bedroom.

Once outside, officers asked Charfauros if there were any guns, drugs or
anyone else inside, but the defendant was uncooperative, Runyon said.

A number of officers were called to assist, including Wilson. Once
inside, an officer kicked in the door of the west bedroom and “all hell broke
loose at that point,” Runyon said.

Wilson, a 50-year-old father of two and 17-year veteran of the San Diego
Police Department, was shot in the head and died a short time later.

Charfauros had not told law enforcement that Lee and his girlfriend,
Lucky Xayasene, were living in the apartment and that four guns and a shotgun
were “waiting on those officers,” Runyon said. Charfauros also failed to
inform officers that Patrick Luangrath and Melissa Ortiz were in the apartment.

The bodies of Lee — believed to be the shooter — and Xayasene were
found in the west bedroom with self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Categories: KUSI