Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 26-year-old Costa Mesa man was convicted of murder today for shooting and killing a 6-year-old boy on the 55 freeway on May 21, 2021.

A jury convicted Marcus Anthony Eriz, 26, of Costa Mesa of one felony count of second-degree murder, one felony count of shooting into an occupied vehicle, and two felony enhancements of the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April 12, 2024.

“The heartbreak of a parent losing a child is so overwhelming that no word exists to describe it,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The short, happy life of Aiden Leos is a life interrupted, abruptly ended by a bullet that pierced Aiden’s heart. The bullet not only killed a little 6-year-old boy; it ripped a hole in the heart of all of Orange County. Six-year-old boys should be playing outside in the sunshine, soaking in all the magic and wonder that is boyhood, not lying dead in a tiny, child-size coffin because a man he never met decided to execute him for no conceivable reason. While we will never know what Aiden would have become, we know that the pursuit of justice did not end until his killer was captured and this child murderer was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The driver of the Volkswagen Sportswagen, Wynne Lee, 26, of Costa Mesa, has been charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact and one misdemeanor count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle. She faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison and one year in the Orange County Jail if convicted on all charges.

Aiden Leos

Just after 8 a.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021, 6-year-old Aiden Leos was shot and killed while in the back seat of his mother’s car while driving northbound on the 55 freeway near Chapman Avenue following a road rage incident. Leos was on his way to kindergarten at Calvary Chapel in Yorba Linda.

Leos’ mother testified at trial that she had flipped the driver of the Volkswagen Sportswagen off after the driver cut her off. After driving away, she said she heard a large noise and heard her son say, “ow,” before pulling over the side of the freeway and pulling Aiden out of his car seat and calling 911.

Aiden later died at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in Orange.

The California Highway Patrol launched an intense manhunt for the shooter that spanned Southern California, including issuing a public plea for tips about the whereabouts of the suspects’ 2018/2019 white Volkswagen Sportswagen.

Eriz and Lee were arrested by the California Highway Patrol on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

Defendant Wynne Lee is awaiting trial on the charges filed against her.  She remains out of custody on GPS monitoring after posting a $100,000 bond in July 2021.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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