Photo: Julius Luna
June 1, 2022 – Ventura County, Ca.
Under the American system of jurisprudence, there is perhaps no more fundamental precept than that of the presumption of innocence. While not a specific Constitutional guarantee, through U.S. Supreme Court rulings and multiple examples of case law dating back more than a century, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments do require “due process” and the establishment of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for those accused of crime.
That said, the arrest of 18-year-old Ventura resident Julius Luna on the morning of May 31 st appears to have been supported by enough evidence that the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau, the Sheriff’s Gang Unit, the Sheriff’s Property-Evidence Unit, and the Fresno Police Department went to considerable lengths to track him down and take him into custody for the May 29 th shooting death of 26-year-old Piru, CA resident Gabriel Cueva.
It was in the early evening of May 29 when deputies responded to a report of gunfire in Saticoy, an unincorporated area of Ventura County. According to VCSD spokesman Sgt. William Hutton, upon arrival at the scene, deputies found Cueva “lying face down in the street suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.” Cueva was whisked off to Ventura County Medical Center, where he succumbed to his wounds.
A series of search warrants and witness statements led to the identification of Luna to the shooting and to fact that he had fled the area to the Fresno area. With the help of the Fresno Police Department, Luna was located and taken into custody. He was then transported to Ventura County Jail, where he remains in custody on a charge of first-degree homicide with his bail set at $1,500,000.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking