Suspect in sibling murder pleads not guilty to murder charges

CITY HEIGHTS (KUSI) – 3:37 p.m. – Felipe Dejesus Vega, the man responsible for the death of a brother and sister during an argument at a Southcrest-area home pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges that could lead to the death penalty.

Vega, 38, is charged in the Nov. 8 "execution-style” deaths of 20-year-old Arline Iribe and 22-year-old Alex Velarde. The defendant — a Mexican citizen — was ordered held without bail.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund alleged that Vega shot the victims after a sequence of events days before the murders.

On Nov. 8, Iribe decided she’d had enough of Vega’s refusal to let an unspecified issue go, but he pulled out a gun and shot her before turning the weapon on her brother, Maund told Judge David Szumowski.

The prosecutor said the victims knew Vega and had treated him like a family member for years.

He is charged with two counts of premeditated murder and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has yet to decide whether Vega will face life in prison without parole or the death penalty if he’s convicted.

A status conference was set for Dec. 2 and a preliminary hearing for Jan. 14.

11/13/2015 – The suspect in a shooting that left a 20-year-old woman and her 22-year-old brother dead was wounded in an officer-involved shooting early Friday near Joyner Elementary School in City Heights, police said.

Felipe Dejesus Vega, 39, was shot once in his upper torso during a struggle with an officer and was taken to a hospital to be treated for the non- life-threatening gunshot wound, San Diego police Capt. David Nisleit told reporters at an early morning news briefing.

The shooting came around two hours after the suspect holed up inside his green Oldsmobile Cutlass in the vicinity of Myrtle and Van Dyke avenues at the end of a roughly 20-minute pursuit Thursday night.

Nisleit said officers initially attempted to coax Vega out of the car using pepper balls and other chemical agents, but they had little effect. A nearby apartment complex was evacuated, and no other injuries were reported.

Vega is suspected of killing acquaintances Alex Velarde and Arline Iribe behind a Mountain View-area home last weekend.

The siblings died from their wounds on a rear driveway at the South 43rd Street residence. Witnesses told investigators the victims had been arguing with Vega prior to the gunfire, police said. The nature of the disagreement was not immediately clear.

10:30 p.m. – Suspect still in vehicle and negotiators are on scene. 

SWAT moving in with bearcat to ram suspect’s car.

10:17 p.m. – San Diego Police were involved in a high-speed chase late Thursday evening with the suspect believed to be involved in a double homicide in Mountain View over the weekend.

The man is believed to be 39-year-old Felipe DeJesus Vega, who allegedly shot Alex Velarde, 22, and 20-year-old Arline Iribe with a pistol in the 1100 block of South 43rd Street at approximately 8 p.m. Sunday evening.

The chase began on the SB I-805 around 9:30 p.m. and ended in City Heights on Myrtle Ave. and Van Dyke Ave. The area was on placed on lockdown.

The suspect was refusing to exit the vehicle and police officers were speaking to the suspect in Spanish, but he was refusing to comply. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available. 

Categories: KUSI