ANTIOCH (BCN) – A man suspected of hitting a woman in Antioch with his pickup truck and dragging her to her death early Tuesday morning was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez, but did not enter a plea.

Lucio Rivera-Avila, a 51-year-old Brentwood resident, has been charged with murder with an enhancement for using a vehicle as a deadly weapon to kill Shelly Baker, a 47-year-old transient.

The two allegedly got in a fight shortly before 2 a.m. while they were sitting in Rivera-Avila’s truck in a parking lot at 1725 Cavallo Road, police said.

Prosecutor John Cope said in court today Thursday one of them had contacted the other by cell phone shortly before Baker was killed.

Antioch police Lt. Leonard Orman said the two knew each other, but could not describe the nature of their relationship other than to say that they were acquaintances.

During the argument, Rivera-Avila allegedly threw some of Baker’s belongings out of the truck.

When she got out, Rivera-Avila allegedly drove at her and struck her. The vehicle then continued driving over her and dragged her for about 75 feet, officials said.

Officers found Baker in the roadway at about 1:50 a.m. She was taken to a local hospital where she died, police said.

A surveillance camera at a nearby business recorded the incident, and police were able to identify the vehicle as a Nissan Frontier.

Soon after the incident, two detectives noticed a pickup truck that looked like the suspect’s vehicle less than a mile from where the woman was hit, Orman said.

He said nobody was in the truck when they first went up to it, but Rivera-Avila approached the detectives a short time later.

He allegedly agreed to have the vehicle towed and go to the police station for questioning, where he allegedly admitted that he struck Baker with his truck, Orman said.

Rivera-Avila, who is originally from El Salvador and spoke in court through a Spanish interpreter, was convicted in 1994 of felony assault with a deadly weapon in San Francisco, Orman said.

Police also allegedly found a gun in his home, which he was not permitted to have because of his conviction.

He is scheduled to appear in court in Pittsburg on Dec. 16 to be assigned an attorney and enter a plea. He is currently being held in county jail on $1.5 million bail.

Baker was Antioch’s 10th homicide victim this year and the second woman to be killed in as many days, Orman said.

About 10 a.m. Monday, 44-year-old Arlene Jefferson was stabbed to death in the parking of the Delta Fair Shopping Center at 2950 Delta Fair Blvd.

Roy Crites, a 56-year-old transient, was arrested at the scene and charged with murder with an enhancement for the use of a knife.

Crites was arraigned Wednesday in Martinez but did not enter a plea.

He is being held at county jail in Martinez on $1 million bail.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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