General Crime

Manuel Syphanh Khiobouakham and Joseph Mario Varela arrested for alleged murder of Damien Wadell Toney Jr., 20, of Santa Rosa

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Santa Rosa police have arrested a second suspect in a shooting murder at a Piner Road apartment complex on Dec. 31. Police arrested Manuel Syphanh Khiobouakham, 19, of Rohnert Park Monday when he went to the Sonoma County jail on an arrest warrant for misdemeanor drug possession, Sgt. David Linscomb said.

He was then booked in the jail on suspicion of the murder of Damien Wadell Toney Jr., 20, of Santa Rosa. Joseph Mario Varela, 15, of Santa Rosa, was arrested on Dec. 31 for the murder and is being tried as an adult. He is scheduled to enter a plea in Sonoma County Superior Court Monday.

Forensic evidence indicates two guns were used in the slaying at the apartment complex at 2001 Piner Road around 2 a.m., and that Varela’s friend Khiobouakham was present at the time of the shooting, Linscomb said. Both suspects fired from handguns they had in their possession toward Toney and both fled before police arrived, Linscomb said.

At the time of the shooting, police believed others near the scene may have direct knowledge about the murder, and some may have either helped the suspects in the murder or in their escape, Linscomb said. Many witnesses have been uncooperative, but police are learning more about the roles people played in the murder, Linscomb said.

Detectives believe more arrests will be made. Witnesses said a dispute started during a party inside an apartment and spread outside, police said. Toney was found on the ground in a parking lot with bullets wounds in his torso and arm. He was treated at the scene but died at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

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