Cynthia Cdbeca
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Four neighbors testified that they heard gunshots at about 8 a.m. the morning of February 11, 2014, in a quiet residential area of Fallbrook. One of the 911 calls was played in court on September 16, and both the emergency dispatcher and caller remarked on the continuing gunfire that could be heard in the background.

Defendant Cynthia Kaye Cdbeca, 63, explained that she went to her car multiple times for more ammunition, to reload her five-shot revolver, after she began shooting her son-in-law. Cdbeca's statement was heard in more than an hour of recorded interviews with sheriff’s detectives that was played during a preliminary hearing yesterday.

Cdebaca has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son-in-law, Geoward Eustaquio, 53. He was found on the kitchen floor in his home at 602 Braemar Terrace, regarded as an upscale (gated) community.

Cdebaca, Eustaquio’s mother-in-law, lived above a garage, in a detached structure on the same property where her daughter, grandchildren, and Eustaquio lived.

San Diego County sheriff’s detectives Lisa Brannan and Mark Palmer interviewed Cdebaca the day of the shooting, about 6 p.m., after she was found at a coffee shop in downtown Fallbrook. In the recorded interview, officers were heard asking her name and date of birth, and then detective Brannan realized, “Today’s your birthday!” And they wished her a happy birthday.

Cdebaca told officers that she did not like her son-in-law and that he sprayed her with water every day and he tried to trip her. She said many times, “He’s so mean,” and, “He’s so mean to my daughter.” Her daughter Laura married Eustaquio 13 years ago. “I told her 13 years ago, he’s evil, he’s evil.” She told detectives, “Tried to love him. No.”

Cdebaca repeatedly asked during the interview if Eustaquio was dead. “Is he dead? I hope so.” They first evaded the question.

Cdebaca told detectives that she dressed that morning, preparing to go to her grandaughter’s spelling bee, “And he said, 'You can’t go like that because you’re like ghetto like that.'” She wore a Chargers T-shirt and a long orange skirt. That was when she went back upstairs, to her room, and “got a gun.”

During the recorded interview, the gray-haired grandmother repeatedly asked detectives if he was dead. Finally, they answered her. “Is he alive? No? Oh, good! Good good good good!” The woman put her arms in the air and waved her hands in joy.

Pathologist Dr. Robert Stabley testified that Eustaquio died of multiple gunshot wounds. He described four perforating wounds, in which the bullet entered and exited the body, plus seven penetrating wounds, in which there was no exit wound. He also found “grazing wounds.”

Defense attorney Sloan Ostbye produced a witness who said she was aware of abuse in the family because she had stayed overnight at the home several times and had conversations with family members. Ostbye pleaded with the judge to hold the defendant to answer a lesser charge, perhaps manslaughter.

Judge James Dorr declined to set a degree of homicide, ordered the defendant held to answer, and set Cdebaca's next court date for October 14, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.

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Eva Knott Sept. 19, 2014 @ 6:15 a.m.

Prosecutor Tracy Prior presented evidence that the shooting weapon was a .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver, registered to the defendant.


Javajoe25 Sept. 19, 2014 @ 10:49 a.m.

Moral of the story? You don't tell a grandma who owns a .38 that she can't go to her granddaughter's spelling bee.


Survivorofabuser Sept. 18, 2017 @ 6:08 p.m.

“And he said, 'You can’t go like that because you’re like ghetto like that.'”

I guess he just wanted her to look a little nicer considering where she was going. Grandma has a temper! and a gun!


Eva Knott March 20, 2019 @ 9:42 a.m.

San Diego County deputy district attorney Keith Watanabe released a statement announcing that Cynthia Cdebaca, now 68, will get a chance to have her prison sentence reduced.
Watanabe declared: “This is the Defendant who shot her son-in-law 15 times, stopping twice to re-load her revolver and continued shooting him as he was bleeding to death and trying to crawl away. She was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison.” The fourth district court of appeals ruled that her sentence should be reconsidered, that the original sentencing judge has the option of reducing her prison term by 25 years by striking the personal-use-of-firemarm enchancement, according to Watanabe.

Cynthia Cdebaca is now 68 years old. She is now in Las Colinas women’s facility in Santee, California. She is 5 foot 6 inches tall and 250 pounds, according to jail records. The convicted murderer is next due in the Vista courthouse on May 17, 2019, at 10 am in department 5. Prosecutor Keith Watanabe stated, “I will notify the victim’s family so they have an opportunity to fly out and give Victim Impact Statements at the re-sentencing hearing.”


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