A man who gunned down a female Navy corpsman at an Oceanside apartment complex nearly four years ago was sentenced Friday to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Eduardo Arriola, 29, was convicted by a Vista jury earlier this year of first-degree murder, plus a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, for July 20, 2018, killing of 24-year-old Devon Rideout.
Both Arriola and Rideout were residents of an apartment building at 550 Los Arbolitos Blvd., where prosecutors allege Arriola shot Rideout multiple times at around 4 p.m. She died at the scene, according to Oceanside police.
Prosecutors say, Rideout, Arriola’s downstairs neighbor, and a Navy hospital corpsman stationed at Camp Pendleton, was walking her dog when Arriola shot her. After the shooting, he repeatedly claimed to bystanders that she was a trespasser.
Investigators searched the defendant’s car and found the victim’s last name scrawled in black permanent ink on the car’s radiator tank. A list of other names and words was also written on the tank, with the final entry “R.I.P.” concluding the list.
Arriola was a former Marine who was discharged for desertion and later diagnosed with schizophrenia, leading to four hearings between the killing and his trial to determine whether he was mentally competent to stand trial. Three separate doctors found him competent, according to court documents.
Rideout’s mother has since sued the federal government for allegedly failing to prevent Arriola from legally purchasing the murder weapon, which he bought at an Oceanside firing range about two months before the killing.
The lawsuit alleges that with Arriola’s diagnosis and his discharge from the military, a background check should have prevented him from buying the gun.
–City News Service