The suspects charged with killing a 6-year-old boy in a road rage incident were involved in another traffic altercation days later, according to court filings.
Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23, are charged in the shooting death of Aiden Leos, a child en route to kindergarten with his mother, Joanna Cloonan, on Costa Mesa Freeway in Orange County, California.
The mother and son were in their car at 8 a.m. on May 21 when the defendants cut them off.
Lee swerved over from the diamond lane to the fast lane and then accelerated at an “extremely high rate of speed” to get in front of Cloonan, according to prosecutors.
“Wynne Lee motioned to the victim’s vehicle a ‘peace sign’ with her hand and continued driving,” prosecutors said.
A few miles down the freeway, Cloonan attempted to merge over to the Riverside Freeway and passed the defendants. She was “still angry about being cut off” and flashed her middle finger at the two as she passed them, prosecutors said.
“She then heard a loud bang to the rear of her vehicle and heard her little boy in the backseat say, ‘Ow,’ ” prosecutors said.
Cloonan immediately pulled over and saw Aiden suffered a chest wound. The boy was pronounced dead at 8:39 a.m at Children’s Hospital Orange County.
In an interview with investigators on June 6, Eriz said he “was angry after being flipped off by Cloonan,” according to the motion.
He rolled down his passenger window and fired his Glock 17 9mm at Cloonan’s vehicle. The defendants then continued driving to work.
Prosecutors said that the next week, the pair got into another altercation on the freeway.
“As Wynne Lee was driving on the 91 eastbound on the way to work with defendant Eriz as her front passenger, a driver in a blue Tesla did something to make defendant Eriz angry, acting aggressively,” prosecutors alleged.
Eriz then brandished his gun to the driver of the Tesla. The Tesla driver told the defendants that he had called the police and then he drove away.
Today, I held a press conference to announce a dedication in the name of Aiden Leos with his family in attendance. The new exhibit at OC Zoo is set to open early 2022 with an honorary plaque in Aiden’s name, so OC may always be inspired show support for victims of crime pic.twitter.com/oZAqwFm4Vz
— Supervisor Don Wagner (@DonWagnerCA) June 14, 2021
Eriz has multiple firearms and several photos and videos on social media showing him shooting his guns.
Lee is also considered a danger to the public because “she knew Eriz had his loaded gun in her vehicle and never pulled over to check on Cloonan following the shooting,” prosecutors argued. She also failed to call 911 “or do anything to follow up about what her passenger had done,” prosecutors said.
Eriz is charged with murder and a felony count of discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, with sentencing enhancements for discharge of a firearm causing death.
Lee faces up to four years in prison for a felony count of being an accessory after the fact and a misdemeanor count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
Both defendants were originally held on $1 million bail, but a judge tentatively increased Eriz’s bail to $2 million and dropped Lee’s bail to $500,000.
The two are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday by Orange County Superior Court Judge Larry Yellin to consider a request from prosecutors to set bails at higher-than-usual levels.
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