Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 12CF2591:
March 20, 2014
*Co-defendant in this case is also charged with murder and is pending jury trial
SANTA ANA – A third-striker was convicted yesterday of stabbing and murdering a man after being an argument over a ride. Joseph Robert Suess, 38, Anaheim, was convicted by a jury yesterday, March 19, 2014, of one felony count of first degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. The defendant has prior strike convictions for kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted robbery in 1994, and assault with a deadly weapon in 2002.
The Court will hear a bifurcated trial on the defendant’s prior strike convictions May 23, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. Suess faces a maximum sentence of 75 years to life in state prison if convicted of the prior strike offenses.
Co-defendant Heriberto Erick Vergara Calvillo, 28, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of murder with a prior prison conviction for street terrorism in 2010. If convicted, Calvillo faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison. He is scheduled for jury trial April 25, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center.
At approximately midnight on Aug. 30, 2012, Suess, Calvillo, and 53-year-old Mikel Williams are accused of drinking alcohol and socializing in an alley near Zeyn Street in Anaheim. Suess asked Williams for a ride out of the area but the victim refused.
Suess began arguing with Williams, which escalated into a physical altercation. Suess began to beat Williams by punching and kicking him. Calvillo is accused of participating in beating the victim. While the victim was laying on the ground unconscious, Suess robbed the victim of $200, grabbed a knife from Williams, and murdered the victim by stabbing him three times in the thigh.
Both defendants fled the scene. Suess was arrested later that morning by the Anaheim Police Department (APD), who investigated this case, and Calvillo was arrested by APD two days later.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff