ANTA ANA, Calif. – A 24-year-old Anaheim man was sentenced today to the maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison for stabbing his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend to death just 3 ½ weeks after he had been released from the Orange County Jail on $0 bail.
Miguel Angel Reyes, 24, of Anaheim, was convicted on October 5, 2020 of one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and one felony enhancement of the personal use of a deadly weapon. He was sentenced today to the maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison for voluntary manslaughter and an additional year for the use of a deadly weapon.
Reyes was released from the Orange County Jail on April 24, 2020 on $0 bail after an Orange County Superior Court judge granted a motion from the Public Defender. The District Attorney’s Office objected on the record to Reyes’ release.
On April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council set bail at zero for most misdemeanor and lower-level felonies in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 in jails by reducing the number of inmates being incarcerated. The Judicial Council rescinded the $0 bail order on June 20, 2020.
Reyes had been convicted of misdemeanor vandalism in March 2020, but the jury hung on a felony gang enhancement. Reyes was facing a three year state prison sentence if convicted on all charges.
Reyes was in custody and awaiting a retrial on the felony gang enhancement charge when $0 bail was enacted and he was released under the emergency $0 bail order despite the objections of the District Attorney’s Office.
On May 16, 2020, Reyes and his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend became involved in an argument in an Anaheim park that involved several other individuals. The 17-year-old picked up a brick and threw it at Reyes, striking him. Reyes then used a knife to stab the 17-year-old girl, killing her.
If Reyes is convicted of the felony gang enhancement, he will be sentenced to an additional two years for committing a crime while out on bail on another crime and an additional eight months for the felony gang enhancement.
“Adopting a sweeping one size fits all $0 bail policy has resulted in the release of dangerous and violent individuals back into our community,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “We didn’t need the $0 bail experiment to tell us what we already knew: when you let criminals out of jail, they will commit more crimes. And this is just another example of this reckless policy resulting in the loss of a young life when its intended purpose was to save lives. It is an unforgivable tragedy that a 17-year-old girl is dead – and she didn’t have to die.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Alex of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.