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Anthony Ibarra murder investigation

WARNING: Graphic content.

NewsChannel 3 has shocking, new details about a high profile murder case out of Santa Maria, in partnership with

This involves the 11 people accused in the brutal, gang-related killing of Anthony Ibarra, a 28-year-old Santa Maria man.

We want to warn you in the strongest possible terms: some of this information is brutal and violent.

This new information comes from a grand jury transcript, which is more than 900 pages long.

The crime took place at 1142 West Donovan Road in Santa Maria on March 17th.

It was around noon when a barking dog woke the woman renting the small home. She is there with her brother and two others who spent the night, Robert “Tito” Sosa and Verenisa “Veri” Aviles.

The tenant looks out the window and sees Ramon “Crazy Ray” Maldonado with a group of men behind him — Jason Castillo, Reyes “Pumpkin” Gonzales and Ramon “Little Ray” Maldonado, Jr. (Crazy Ray’s 14-year old son).

All are known gang members or associates and barge into the home. The woman notices they’re all wearing dark cotton gloves over a pair of blue latex gloves and becomes terrified.

At some point, Aviles leaves the house and comes back a short time later with Anthony Solis and David “Pops” Maldonado (Crazy Ray’s father), all wearing the same glove combination.

Santos “Little Tuffy” Sauceda also shows up.

The transcript reveals that Ibarra owes money, indirectly, to Crazy Ray, the local drug tax collector for the North West gang in Santa Maria and the ringleader in Ibarra’s death.

Word on the street is Ibarra owes money to others, too. The 28-year-old Santa Maria man owed at least $1,200 in “gang taxes” and drug money debts.

Ibarra is lured to the house by Aviles, who pretends over the phone to be the renter. She asks to buy drugs from him — something the tenant has done before.

Sosa and Little Ray are sent away before Ibarra arrives.

Some time later, Ibarra shows up and the violence begins. “What’s up mother f*****r,” Crazy Ray says to Ibarra.

The tenant can’t see but can hear Crazy Ray remind Ibarra about his debt, then hears him being attacked. Her brother sees Crazy Ray stab him. Witnesses said the weapon was a knife or pruning shears. Another witness testified how Jason Castillo slashed Ibarra’s back with a machete. Ibarra screams and begs them to stop.

From there the group leads Ibarra down the hall to the back bedroom.

Witnesses said they heard Crazy Ray’s voice clear as day, ordering him to take off his clothes as he accuses Ibarra of sleeping with his girlfriend. The tenant then hears the sound of someone taking off a belt.

For at least 20 minutes, and up to an hour or more, the group beats and slashes Ibarra with the buckle end of a belt, fists, boots, knifes, broken glass and other items from head to toe.

The medical examiner testified that two jabs to Ibarra’s neck with a Phillips head screwdriver eventually killed him.

We learn that over the next two days detectives pieced together a string of evidence from the crime scene and a moving truck found in Orcutt, with Ibarra’s naked body inside. Crazy Ray’s girlfriend Carmen Cardenas rented the truck, with help from Pedro Torres.

It took police days to arrest the first 10 suspects: Reyes Gonzales, Ramon Maldonado, Carmen Cardenas, Santos Sauceda, Robert Sosa, David Maldonado, Anthony Solis, Jason Castillo, Pedro Tores and Verenisa Aviles. Little Ray was nabbed more than two months later.

The suspects’ next court appearance is scheduled for July 18.

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