Man arrested for ‘95 cold case murder
BARSTOW • A 42-year-old man was arrested last week in connection with an 18-year-old cold case, authorities said.
Fernando Leo Trujillo was arrested by deputies from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department on Dec. 11, as a suspect in the 1995 murder of Barstow resident Dwayne Askew and participation in a criminal street gang, according a news release from the Barstow Police Department.
Trujillo was arrested at his residence in Martinez, after a warrant for his arrest was issued from the Victorville Superior Court on Dec. 10, the release states.
The case was dormant due to lack of investigative leads before BPD detectives received information that led to re-opening the case, BPD Lt. Mike Hunter said.
“Sometimes we get lucky,” Hunter said. “This case was closed for quite a while, but we received new leads and we were able to re-open it and had enough information to obtain the arrest warrant . It’s still an ongoing investigation and cannot release details that can jeopardize the investigation.”
According to the release, BPD officers responded to a report of a gunshot victim in the 300 block of Melissa Street shortly after midnight on May 30, 1995. Askew was found lying in the street suffering from a gunshot wound to his head and was treated at the scene and then transported to Barstow Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Askew was reported to have been at a gathering at nearby residence on Melissa Street for a friend who had recently died before the shooting, the release states. After investigating the scene, officers and detectives located a handgun, other evidence and talked to several witnesses who identified “Hispanic males running from the scene after the shooting,” according to the release.
On Dec. 12, BPD detectives traveled to Martinez to interview Trujillo at the Martinez Detention Facility and was brought to Barstow to be charged with murder and street terrorism charges, the release states.
Trujillo is currently in custody at West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bail, booking records show.
Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to call the Barstow Police Department at 760-256-2211. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-782-7463.
Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com.