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Ex-Marine accused of killing Oceanside neighbor in broad daylight

Shooter prevents bystanders from helping gasping woman

Eduardo Arriola “must have lied” on paperwork.
Eduardo Arriola “must have lied” on paperwork.

A former Marine killed his neighbor after she came home from work and took her dog out for a walk, a San Diego County prosecutor alleged in court July 24, 2018.

Eduardo Arriola, 25, made his first appearance in court on Tuesday. Sheriff’s records describe Arriola as 5 feet 7 inches tall and 200 pounds. He is held without bail.

Arriola pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, which could mean life in prison without parole, or the death penalty, if he is ultimately found guilty.

Prosecutor Keith Watanabe said 24-year-old Devon Christian Rideout came home “after a hard day’s work” on July 20, 2018, and quickly took her new puppy out of her apartment for a walk. “She only made it a few steps outside of her door,” the prosecutor said.

Rideout was a Navy Corpsman who worked on nearby Camp Pendleton, and was still in her military uniform when she was confronted by a man who lived upstairs, the prosecutor alleged.

Arriola emptied his five-shot Smith&Wesson revolver into his victim, according to Sheriff’s detective Brent Keys. The detective said the victim suffered three shots to her torso and two to her head. Rideout was declared deceased on the scene.

According to the prosecutor, Arriola told first responders, “I used lethal force because she was trespassing.”

The deadly assault happened “in broad daylight” on a Friday afternoon after 3 p.m., in front of multiple witnesses, according to prosecutor Watanabe. Bystanders who moved to help the gasping woman were prevented by the shooter, the prosecutor said.

Rideout was “truly an innocent victim,” the prosecutor said. She had worked as a Navy Corpsman for five years and was going to school to become an occupational therapist.

Arriola lived in the apartment directly above the victim, with his mother and brother and sister, at 550 Los Arbolitos Boulevard, in Oceanside. The alleged shooter had no known relationship with the woman he shot, the prosecutor said.

Arriola was a Marine in 2016, but he deserted and went to Mexico; he returned to the United States in 2017 and “turned himself in”; he was diagnosed as schizophrenic and discharged from the Marines that same year, according to the prosecutor.

Oceanside police looked under the hood of Arriola’s new car, a 2018 Toyota Corolla iM, and saw that someone had used a black Sharpie marker to write on a tank connected to the radiator. Police found the name of the deceased woman plus the names of two other persons written there, along with the words REST IN PEACE, the prosecutor said.

“QURAN” and references to Quran verses were also written in the engine compartment, the prosecutor said.

Investigators found a Quran and a handwritten journal on the suspect’s “bedside”, the prosecutor said.

Two months prior to the shooting Eduardo Arriola purchased a revolver from Iron Sights, a retailer in Oceanside, the prosecutor said. That retailer does not have access to any military database and therefore would not be aware of Arriola’s "schizophrenic” diagnosis, Watanabe said, and he speculated that Arriola “must have lied” on paperwork which would have asked if he had a mental illness.

Defense attorney Lindsay Itzhaki stated that Arriola was born and raised in Oceanside and has no criminal record, and she requested the judge to set “reasonable bail.” Watanabe argued that the defendant “is a danger to the community.” Honorable judge Robert Dahlquist ordered Arriola to remain in custody without bail, and set a bail hearing date of August 14.

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Eduardo Arriola “must have lied” on paperwork.
Eduardo Arriola “must have lied” on paperwork.

A former Marine killed his neighbor after she came home from work and took her dog out for a walk, a San Diego County prosecutor alleged in court July 24, 2018.

Eduardo Arriola, 25, made his first appearance in court on Tuesday. Sheriff’s records describe Arriola as 5 feet 7 inches tall and 200 pounds. He is held without bail.

Arriola pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, which could mean life in prison without parole, or the death penalty, if he is ultimately found guilty.

Prosecutor Keith Watanabe said 24-year-old Devon Christian Rideout came home “after a hard day’s work” on July 20, 2018, and quickly took her new puppy out of her apartment for a walk. “She only made it a few steps outside of her door,” the prosecutor said.

Rideout was a Navy Corpsman who worked on nearby Camp Pendleton, and was still in her military uniform when she was confronted by a man who lived upstairs, the prosecutor alleged.

Arriola emptied his five-shot Smith&Wesson revolver into his victim, according to Sheriff’s detective Brent Keys. The detective said the victim suffered three shots to her torso and two to her head. Rideout was declared deceased on the scene.

According to the prosecutor, Arriola told first responders, “I used lethal force because she was trespassing.”

The deadly assault happened “in broad daylight” on a Friday afternoon after 3 p.m., in front of multiple witnesses, according to prosecutor Watanabe. Bystanders who moved to help the gasping woman were prevented by the shooter, the prosecutor said.

Rideout was “truly an innocent victim,” the prosecutor said. She had worked as a Navy Corpsman for five years and was going to school to become an occupational therapist.

Arriola lived in the apartment directly above the victim, with his mother and brother and sister, at 550 Los Arbolitos Boulevard, in Oceanside. The alleged shooter had no known relationship with the woman he shot, the prosecutor said.

Arriola was a Marine in 2016, but he deserted and went to Mexico; he returned to the United States in 2017 and “turned himself in”; he was diagnosed as schizophrenic and discharged from the Marines that same year, according to the prosecutor.

Oceanside police looked under the hood of Arriola’s new car, a 2018 Toyota Corolla iM, and saw that someone had used a black Sharpie marker to write on a tank connected to the radiator. Police found the name of the deceased woman plus the names of two other persons written there, along with the words REST IN PEACE, the prosecutor said.

“QURAN” and references to Quran verses were also written in the engine compartment, the prosecutor said.

Investigators found a Quran and a handwritten journal on the suspect’s “bedside”, the prosecutor said.

Two months prior to the shooting Eduardo Arriola purchased a revolver from Iron Sights, a retailer in Oceanside, the prosecutor said. That retailer does not have access to any military database and therefore would not be aware of Arriola’s "schizophrenic” diagnosis, Watanabe said, and he speculated that Arriola “must have lied” on paperwork which would have asked if he had a mental illness.

Defense attorney Lindsay Itzhaki stated that Arriola was born and raised in Oceanside and has no criminal record, and she requested the judge to set “reasonable bail.” Watanabe argued that the defendant “is a danger to the community.” Honorable judge Robert Dahlquist ordered Arriola to remain in custody without bail, and set a bail hearing date of August 14.

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13

Hey, right-wing NRA teat suckers: nobody is trying to strike down the 2nd Amendment or take your guns away; however, the sane citizens of America want what happened to Ms. Rideout and thousands of other law abiding Americans to STOP. This means BETTER gun control, education, and background checks (and, yes, the gun show loophole must go!). I bet even Jesus would honor life over firearm ownership.

July 27, 2018

Instead of attacking offer a solution. You don't have one do you?

July 27, 2018

Hon. judge Robert Dahlquist made public safety a priority when he declined defense request for "reasonable bail." Then he set a separate court date for the prosecutor and defense to argue what the correct amount of bail should be.

July 27, 2018

In an outrageous case like this one, "reasonable bail" is none at all. If by some set of circumstances the judge did set bail, it would be in the $millions, and this defendant would not be able to make that anyway. Four family members squeezed into one apartment doesn't suggest any degree of affluence; moreover his history of beating feet across the Mexican border to desert the USMC makes him an extreme flight risk. No, he stays in the slammer until he's tried, convicted, and sentenced.

July 27, 2018

Like the recent shooter in Toronto with diagnosed mental problems, how do they get a gun?

Aug. 1, 2018

Prosecutor Keith Watanabe was in the downtown courthouse several days this week, for hearings regarding Eduardo Arriola's mental competency. Today prosecutor Watanabe released this statement: "After months of legal battles over Mr. Arriola’s competence to stand trial, we are thankful that criminal proceedings have been reinstated. The victim’s family has been awaiting justice for far too long. We look forward to finally going to trial." Defendant Eduardo Arriola, who is now 28 and has been in custody since July 2018, is now set for a hearing in San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse on Monday, March 8, 2021.

March 5, 2021

In a brief court hearing by video monitor, Eduardo Arriola, now 28 years old, was given a tentative trial date of October 13, 2021. Arriola has been in custody since his arrest in July 2018. There have been delays in his criminal court case while Arriola’s mental competency was questioned, then he was declared mentally competent just last week. Eduardo Arriola is next due in San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse on July 13, 2021, to confirm his trial date. Arriola continues to plead not-guilty to murder and felony battery of peace officer, and is held without bail in San Diego’s Central Jail, downtown.

March 8, 2021

Jury was selected Monday and Tuesday of this week, and Eduardo Arriola, now 29, will hear evidence against him starting tomorrow morning, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. This trial is expected to finish late next week, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista. Arriola has been held in custody since the day of the shooting almost four years ago, in July of 2018. Arriola has lost weight, and his long, black hair was seen in a ponytail this morning. Arriola had his mental competency questioned and then verified at least four times over the years, most recently he was declared competent to stand trial last month, in April 2022.

The prosecutor has said that Eduardo Arriola continues to be violent and has attacked his jailers multiple times, and Keith Watanabe intends to present that evidence if the defense case tries to portray Arriola as a “peaceful” person.

The families of both the shooting victim, Devon Christian Rideout, and defendant Eduardo Arriola, are expected to watch the trial from the gallery. Honorable judge Kelly Mok presides in Department 23.

May 10, 2022

Defense attorney Lindsay Itzhaki is expected to present evidence about the mental health of the defendant, including his records from veterans affairs. Itzhaki asserts that Arriola's past diagnosis of schizophrenia is relevant, and that his mental state affected him at the time of the offense, and the jury will decide if Arriola had the capacity to deliberate, or if he had the capacity to premeditate.

May 10, 2022

The jury of 7 men and 5 women heard testimony from a UPS driver who was an ear-witness to the shooting. Jeremy Mitchell, then 28, said he pushed his dolly full of packages off the narrow walkpath so that a woman and her puppy could pass by him, going in the other direction. Within five seconds, he heard a series of gunshots. He said when two other men, who had come out of their apartments to see what was going on, “I told the guys, I know who got shot! Let’s go! I just felt like it was something I should have done.” He rushed back to find the female Marine, in uniform, face down in front of her apartment door. “I could see she was still breathing, I took her hand, I told her it was going to be okay, it was going to be alright, I didn’t know what else to tell her. But it didn’t look good, you could see holes in her shirt, and there was blood coming.” He said Eduardo Arriola was standing there, waving people away and telling people to “Stay back!” But Mitchell dared to comfort Devon Rideout, who had three shots to her torso and two in her head (all with stippling around the holes), in her last moments. The trial will continue this week, and into next week.

May 12, 2022

Eduardo Arriola’s sister testified for defense this morning. Cop bodycam footage showed Arriola’s sister confronting the first responding officers and when they asked her to step back she screamed, “No! No! He’s my brother I am not leaving his side! No! My brother is schizophrenic! No! F--k! Besalo!” Arriola, who had just shot his young, female, Marine neighbor appeared much calmer, and he finally told his younger sister to “Shut up.” The sister was seen screaming and crying and blocking their path when the officers tried to remove Arriola from the immediate presence of the dying woman on the ground.

This morning, that same sister testified for the defense. She claimed that she was unaware that her brother had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, which caused murmurs in the gallery from supporters of the deceased Marine, who had already seen the cop bodycam video last week.

Defense case continues tomorrow, Tuesday, in San Diego’s North County superior courthouse.

May 16, 2022

Oceanside Police headquarters is only about three streets away from the scene of the shooting, and cops quickly responded. One detective opened the hood of Eduardo Arriola’s new 2018 Toyota iM, which Arriola had recently bought with his military pension. (Arriola was discharged from the military in 2017, with 100 percent disability for his schizophrenia diagnosis. Arriola was an UBER driver, and he drove his mom and sister and her kids around for errands.) On a white plastic tank in the engine compartment, police saw three names written in black Sharpie marker. RIDeout was the name of the woman Arriola shot in July 2018. Westlake was the name of another female Marine whom Arriola knew, and Bee was the nickname of another female Marine with whom Arriola had worked.

May 16, 2022

The jury of 7 men and 5 women heard evidence for one week. The defendant chose not to testify. Half the gallery was usually filled by the family and friends of the woman who was killed, Devon Rideout. After deliberating for a full day, the jury unanimously declared Arriola guilty of first degree murder, personal use of firearm, and the special circumstance of “lying in wait.” Honorable judge Kelly Mok is expected to sentence Eduardo Arriola, 29, to Life in Prison when he is sentenced on June 17, 2022, in San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse in Vista, California.

May 20, 2022

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