SANTA CRUZ—A Santa Cruz man who shot a male victim to death in 2018 was sentenced on Oct. 6 to 35 years to life in state prison.

Miguel Castañeda, 43, was convicted in May of killing Victor Vasquez Lopez, 36, of Santa Cruz. 

The dispute that preceded the shooting occured after an altercation in the Watsonville branch of Santa Cruz County Court, where they had been attending family court together.

Court bailiffs separated Lopez and Castaneda, but the two got into an altercation on westbound Riverside Drive. 

Witnesses said that a white Toyota pickup collided with a black BMW, and then the white pickup pulled in front of the BMW.

The men exited their vehicles, and Castañeda shot Lopez several times, the witness said.

Castaneda remained at the scene, and was arrested without incident.

Lopez suffered several gunshots, including one to the head. 

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.



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