ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
Case # 17WF1965
Date: September 28, 2017
*Defendant initially charged with attempted murder and assault with intent to commit rape
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged with special circumstances murder during attempted rape after the 68-year-old victim died due to injuries sustained in the assault.
Defendant: Michael Aon Varela, 30, Garden Grove
Charged on Sept. 22, 2017, in an amended complaint with the following felony count:
- Sentencing Enhancement – Special Circumstances: Murder during the commission of attempted rape
Minimum Sentence: Life in state prison without the possibility of parole
Continued arraignment on Oct. 13, 2017, 10:00 a.m. at Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana
Circumstances of the Case
- On Sept. 10, 2017, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Varela is accused of attacking 68-year-old Jane Doe, whom he did not know, outside of a home in Garden Grove while she was on a walk.
- The defendant is accused of assaulting the victim and attempting to rape her.
- A witness called 911 and the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) arrested Varela at the scene.
- The victim was transported to a local hospital and the defendant was initially charged with felony attempted murder and assault with intent to commit rape.
- On Sept. 21, 2017, the victim died as a result of injuries sustained during the assault.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera, Homicide Unit
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson