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Santa Maria murder suspect charged, enters not guilty plea

Erik Fernandez Rocha, 20 of Santa Maria
Santa Maria Police Department
Erik Fernandez Rocha, 20 of Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Erik Rocha, 20, has been charged with murder in the death of Frankie Placido Hernandez. Rocha is facing other charges as well, including attempted murder and special allegations for discharging a firearm, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Erik Fernandez Rocha, 20 of Santa Maria

Rocha is accused of shooting Hernandez in the early morning hours of Friday May 28. Hernandez was found in his car with multiple gunshot wounds. It appears he was trying trying to drive away from the scene but died on the North Broadway on-ramp to Highway 101.

Charging documents filed in Santa Maria Superior Court say Rocha was "lying in wait" when he allegedly shot Hernandez.

Rocha was arraigned in a Santa Maria courtroom earlier this week and entered not guilty pleas to all charges. He will be back in court on June 9 in Santa Maria.

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Joe Buttitta

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