Skip to Content

Suspect in 2010 Santa Barbara Cold Case sentenced for murder


After more than eight years since the murder of Samuel Bautista Justo in Santa Barbara, the suspect has been sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison.

Eutimio Oswaldo Aispuro pled guilty to second to second-degree murder and admitted the special allegation of personal use of a deadly weapon on October 4, 2018.

On September 25, 2010, the Santa Barbara Police Department investigators found then 36-year old Justo’s body on the floor of his apartment with more than 50 stab wounds; two stab wounds to his neck were lethal.

DNA retrieved from under Justo’s fingernails later matched the DNA of Aispuro.

Authorities learned that Aispuro fled Santa Barbara after the murder and traveled to Mexico where he lived for six years.

On June 7, 2016, Aispuro was arrested by Customs and Border Protection authorities near Lukeville, Arizona. He initially provided a false name, but a fingerprint check later confirmed his identity as Aispuro.

Customs contacted the Santa Barbara Police Department after they learned Aispuro had a warrant out for his arrest for murder.

Aispuro confessed to killing Justo after a sexual encounter between the two. He also admitted he destroyed evidence and stole items from the victim’s apartment after the murder and fled to Mexico because of the stabbing.

“This murderer was eventually apprehended due to the relentless investigation conducted by the Santa Barbara Police Department, specifically Detective Mike Claytor and Sergeant David Henderson, said District Attorney Joyce Dudley. “This defendant was successfully prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Kim Siegel who described this murder as cold, calculated and particularly brutal.”


Santa Barbara police arrested 24-year-old Eutimio Osvaldo Aispuro, a former Santa Barbara resident, in the 2010 murder of Samuel Bautista Justo. The victim was 36 years old at the time of his death.

Back on the evening of September 25, 2010, a KEYT news crew arrived on scene of what police called a suspicious death investigation at the time. Concerned neighbors had called Santa Barbara police to a home at 730 Castillo Street to check on a resident that hadn’t been seen in several days.

Several tips lead former KEYT reporter Doug Kriegel to El Torito restaurant on Cabrillo Boulevard where the victim worked and was positively identified as Samuel Bautista Justo. However, due to the ongoing investigation, the name of the deceased was not able to be released to the public by KEYT at the time. El Torito staff said they also hadn’t seen Justo. You can watch that original news report HERE.


The suspicious death investigation was quickly ruled a homicide.

On Sept. 25, SBPD officers entered Justo’s apartment with the landlord’s key and found him inside, dead as a result of multiple stab wounds. Investigators wouldn’t release the victim’s name until days later.

Officers focused on Aispuro as a suspect during the investigation. Unfortunately, Aispuro had fled to Mexico before the crime was discovered by police.

Santa Barbara Police detectives obtained a no-bail arrest warrant for Aispuro.


“Due to Aispuro’s Mexican citizenship, SBPD detectives spent the years since the crime working with our federal law enforcement partners and the Mexican government to arrange for Aispuro’s arrest and extradition to the United States or prosecution in Mexico for Justo’s murder,” said SBPD Sgt. Riley Harwood. “This lengthy process was underway at the time Aispuro was taken into custody.”

U.S. Border Patrol agents located Aispuro in the Aizona desert south of Tucson and arrested him on June 4 for illegal entry into the U.S.

“Aispuro was booked into the Pima County Jail in Tucson, Arizona, where he was contacted by SBPD detectives and interviewed on June 20, 2016,” said Harwood.

Aispuro was transported back to Santa Barbara where he was eventually booked at Santa Barbara County Jail for Samuel Bautista Justo’s murder.


24-year-old Aispuro was arraigned in Santa Barbara Superior Court on June 21, where the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office charged him with one count of murder with the special circumstance alleged that Justo’s murder involved the intentional use torture.

The complaint alleges that Aispuro personally used a dangerous and deadly weapon during the offense.

The arraignment was continued to Friday, June 24, 2016.

“On behalf of the People of Santa Barbara County, especially the friends and family of Samuel Bautista Justo, I wish to thank the Santa Barbara Police Department for their continued willingness to expend resources on securing the arrest of this defendant; they diligently persevered in pursuing justice,” said District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Channel 3-12

Email the News Channel 3-12 Team


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content