|Pictured Above: Anaheim Police Department at a news conference. Source: Orange County Register.|
Elizabeth Wheat Begaren, a prison guard, was shot and killed in 1998 after stepping out of her vehicle on the 91 freeway. Begaren was in the car with her husband, Nuzzio Begaren, and her step daughter. Nuzzio claimed that a car full of gang members had followed them out of the mall, made them stop on the freeway, robbed them, and then shot Elizabeth because she worked for the Department of Corrections. Anaheim police were suspicious of Nuzzio after they found out that he had taken out a $1 million life insurance plan on his wife six months before the murder. On Monday, fourteen years after the murder, police arrested Nuzzio on suspicion of murder for financial gain. Louis Sandoval and Rafael Garcia Miranda were also arrested on suspicion of murder and street terrorism. Authorities are still searching for another suspect named Guillermo Espinoza.
If a murder is willful, premeditated and deliberated, it is considered a first-degree murder. Capital murder is murder in the first-degree with a special circumstance. Murdering someone for financial gain is a special circumstance and if Nuzzio is convicted of his murder charge, he will face the punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. In addition to prison time, Nuzzio faces fines, probation/parole, and a strike on his record. If you are charged with murder, please call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you in fighting your charges.