Two brothers have been charged with murder for allegedly killing a groom outside his own wedding reception, according to police in Chino, California.
Rony Aristides Castaneda Ramirez, 28, and Josue Daniel Castaneda Ramirez, 19, are accused of killing Joseph Melgoza and assaulting two men on Sunday.
In a news release, police said Melgoza suffered blunt-force trauma to the head, but neither the news release nor the complaint from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office specifies whether a weapon was used. The complaint says the other men, Jose Mancera and Juan Bustamante, were attacked with baseball bats.
The Ramirez brothers are each charged with murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
On Saturday, hours before being beaten, Melgoza, 30, had married Esther Bustamante.
Melgoza’s daughter, Lilly, had served as their ring bearer during the ceremony.
Police say there is no known relationship between the brothers and the groom.
Andy Velasquez, Melgoza’s brother says it was late when someone confronted the Ramirez brothers, and they left the reception. After the party ended, they returned, saying one of them forgot his phone, Velasquez said.
A fight broke out in the back alley behind the house where the reception was being held.
Authorities say the Ramirez brothers attacked Melgoza there.
“It was pitch black and they (Melgoza and the other two men) didn’t see the bats,” Velasquez said.
Bustamante remembers calling 9-1-1 after hearing her mom call for help. After she did, she ran as fast as she could toward the commotion in the alley. She said she saw her brother, who was injured in the attack, but no one could find her husband.
When officers arrived, Esther Bustamante said, Melgoza was still missing.
A news release from the police said officers responded to a call on Oaks Avenue about a fight around 2:20 a.m. Sunday and found “a large crowd from a nearby party and two victims of battery, who sustained minor injuries.”
Witnesses said another possible victim was missing and officers searched and found Melgoza in the rear yard of a residence on 17th Street, the release said.
“They immediately put up yellow [tape] saying it was a crime scene,” Esther Bustamante said. “Then I knew the worst was coming.”
Melgoza was transported to Chino Valley Medical Center, where he later died, police said.
On Sunday afternoon, police served a search warrant at a residence on Chino Avenue and arrested the Ramirez brothers.