Cold Case Killer Held without Bail
Image: File photo of Jones | Courtesy of Ventura County Jail Booking
March 11, 2023 – Ventura County, Ca. – Twenty six years ago, armed suspects in the process of robbing the Thousand Oaks branch of Western Financial Bank, shot bank teller Monica Leech and left her dying on the floor. That April 28, 1997 crime lead to a protracted investigation and the identification of San Bernardino resident Kevin Ray James as a principal suspect in the robbery and killing.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Albert Ramirez, detectives worked “diligently and relentlessly for many years,” yet could never generate sufficient evidence for the District Attorney to bring charges against James or his unnamed and unidentified accomplice.
Undaunted, detectives attached to the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau, the VCSD Forensic Services Bureau, the FBI, and the Ventura District Attorney’s Office Investigations Bureau, all working in concert with the VCSD Cold Case Unit, were ultimately able to use DNA evidence that supported James’ connection with the robbery and the fatal shooting of Monica Leech.
On March 9th, detectives located James, made contact with him, and took him into custody. He was transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on multiple charges relating to the 1997 crime, including armed robbery, and first degree murder. He remains in custody on a no-bail hold.
by Robert L. McCullough