PENNGROVE, Sonoma County (KPIX 5) — The main suspect in the murder of an 84-year old woman in Sonoma County now faces a new charge of murder in Arizona, KPIX 5 has learned.
Victor Silva, 27, of Novato is in jail in La Paz County, Arizona, following a wild police chase Saturday. Authorities say Silva and a woman were shooting at passing cars in an attempt to get the cars to crash in front of the cops and enable the suspects’ escape.
Police eventually caught up to the couple after they crossed from California in Arizona. They abandoned their car and ran into the desert. Investigators say Silva surrendered peacefully, but the woman he was with raised a weapon and a Riverside County sheriff deputy shot her to death.
La Paz authorities now plan to charge Silva with the woman’s death under Arizona’s “Felony Murder Rule,” said Lt. Curt Bagby, spokesman for the La Paz Sheriff’s Department.
“If a citizen gets shot while the suspect in a commission of a felony and the shooting is due to his reckless behavior, then he is charged with murder,” Bagby said.
Prosecutors in Santa Rosa Tuesday identified the female suspect as Stephanie Hill, 37, of Novato. La Paz County officials were not confirming her identity because, Bagby said, they are having trouble finding the woman’s next of kin.
Authorities said Silva and Hill were prime suspects in the murder of Olga Dinelli, 84, whose body was found in her Penngrove home on Thursday. Dinelli was shot to death.
In a Sonoma County courtroom Tuesday afternoon, a third man, John Bruno Martinez, was formally charged with a slew of crimes that happened after the murder, said prosecutor Brian Staebell, the Sonoma County Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney.
The charges include accessory to the following: murder, robbery, burglary, and false imprisonment.
A man who identified himself as Martinez’s father told reporters, “I know in my heart that my son did not commit murder.”
Martinez’s father said that he was told by investigators that his son rented a car to the other two suspects.