Orange County District Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 12CF2591: May 30, 2014
*Co-defendant in this case pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing
SANTA ANA – A third-striker was sentenced yesterday to 51 years to life in state prison for stabbing and murdering a man after an argument over a ride. Joseph Robert Suess, 39, Anaheim, was found guilty by a jury March 20 2014, to 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.
Co-defendant Heriberto Erick Vergara Calvillo, 28, Anaheim, pleaded guilty April 25, 2014, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. He is expected to be sentenced to 22 years in state prison at his sentencing June 27, 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 were 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