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February 25, 2014

Co-workers testify about man accused of workplace execution

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:12 am

RANCHO CUCAMONGA  - Juan Arias, who is on trial for killing a co-worker in 2011, was always singing at work.

Sometimes the songs he sang were inappropriate, co-workers said.

Once Arias was heard singing, “My enemies better watch out.”

Nearly 10 days later, Robert Davalos was shot to death in his office at Arlon Incorporated in Rancho Cucamonga.

Arias, 55, is suspected of killing Davalos, 36, of San Bernardino, after being fired from the manufacturing company he worked for about 33 years.

On Dec. 1, 2011 Arias was escorted off the property. But he returned to the company less than an hour later, entered the building, and shot Davalos in his office, prosecutors said.

Davalos died at the scene. Arias was arrested later that day at his home in Fontana.

On Monday employees still working at Arlon took the stand at West Valley Superior Courthouse in Rancho Cucamonga to testify about the relationship between Arias and Davalos.

Some workers testified that Arias once called Davalos a name riddled with expletives. One co-worker said Arias threated to kill Davalos. Another talked about a confrontation the two men had in the break room at work.

“If you want to call it a confrontation,” said Erick Vazquez, who worked at Arlon at the time of the shooting.

Davalos was going out of the break room while Arias was coming in and they exchanged words, said Vazquez, who had known the victim for about 13 years.

“They weren’t pleasant words,” Vazquez said.

On the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, Vazquez saw people running toward Davalos’s office. When he got there he saw Davalos on the floor and ran in to try and stop the bleeding.

During the 9-1-1 call co-workers said they didn’t know for sure who the shooter was, but they thought Juan Arias had done it.

Vazquez said Davalos was outgoing, non-violent and really professional.

Ricardo Mendoza, a production supervisor at Arlon, supervised Arias for about two years before the defendant was fired.

He said he never saw any conflict between Arias and Davalos and that he never saw the victim bully or antagonize anyone.

“(Davalos) got along with everyone, in my opinion,” Mendoza said.

Testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

By Lori Fowler, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin / Posted: 02/24/14, 8:57 PM PST


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