20 years later, Waianae man charged with execution-style murder in LA

(image: Fox 11 Los Angeles)
(image: Fox 11 Los Angeles)

WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii man is charged with a 1997 murder in Los Angeles.

Rudolph Castro, 43, was arrested at his home in Waianae in September, 20 years after Frances Sugich was shot to death in her own home.

"At least two people, maybe more, entered her home in the middle of the day at about 11:30 in the morning on that day, lured her into a back bedroom where they execution-style shot her in the back and back of the head and killed her," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Detective Ty Labbe told a Fox 11 news reporter in 2015.

The 22-year-old Sugich was planning to testify in a gang murder trial when she was killed in her home in La Puente.

It's unclear if Castro is the alleged gunman because at least two men entered the home.

In 2015, investigators released two suspect sketches and pressured the killers to come forward.

"They wake up sometimes looking in the mirror and looking over their shoulder wondering when's the day going to come, when is that car that's passing by, five deputies are going to jump out and put handcuffs on me. And I want them to fear that. I want them to feel that pressure because we never stop investigating these cases," Det. Labbe told the Fox 11 reporter.

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, one of Castro's neighbors took photos from their window of officers in full gear outside Castro's home.

Castro's other neighbors are in complete shock.

"Great guy. Everybody loves him… so I believe they got the wrong guy," said John Hopkins. "But we're praying for him and hopefully they'll bring him back."

The gang murder trial went on without Frances and the person responsible for four murders is doing life without parole in state prison.

Detective Labbe said Frances didn't die in vain.

"She didn't. However, the executive of a witness is a death penalty case in the state of California," he said.

Castro is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 18.

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