Four years after being identified as a suspect in a cousin's shooting death and fleeing to Mexico, a former Potter Valley man Tuesday is scheduled to face murder charges in Sonoma County Superior Court.
Augustin Alvarez Peña, 42, is the prime suspect in the Oct. 16, 2009, shooting death of Cloverdale resident Santos Alvarez, 24, Sonoma County Sheriff's Sgt. Carlos Basurto said.
Earlier this year, the Sheriff's Office received information about Peña's location in Mexico. Mexican authorities arrested Peña Feb. 11 in Jalisco, Mexico, Basurto said.
He was extradited to Sonoma County and arrived at the jail Friday.
The shooting took place in a warehouse surrounded by vineyards at a Cooley Lane property where Alvarez worked, about a mile north of downtown Cloverdale.
A witness identified Peña as the shooter at the time, Basurto said. Detectives found dozens of pounds of marijuana ready for street sale near the area where Alvarez was killed. They also found a handgun thought to be the murder weapon.
But authorities did not find Peña, who was living in Potter Valley. They found evidence at his home that he had family in Mexico and two days after the shooting broadcast information about his car, assuming he was fleeing the country.
A warrant for his arrest was issued Oct. 20, 2009.
But the case remained cold until earlier this year, Basurto said.
“We believed he left the country soon after the homicide,” Basurto said. “And unless someone tells us where he is in Mexico, it's hard for us to go down and get him.”
Peña is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in courtroom nine.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @jjpressdem.