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.