Sun. May 26th, 2024

Marcus Anthony Eriz, a Costa Mesa man, was sentenced today for the fatal shooting and killing of Aiden Leos, a 6-year-old, during a road rage incident on the 55 Freeway.

Eriz was sentenced to 40 years to life by an Orange County judge Friday, according to the OCDA.

A jury convicted Eriz in January 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.

Eriz tried to mollify the judge at the sentencing hearing, by saying he was “sorry for putting everybody through this.” He also referred to Aiden as “a son, a little brother and a friend to others,” as well as “truly one of God’s little angels.”

Eriz apologized to Aiden’s mom, to no avail. His defense attorney was seeking a sentence of 15 years to life but the judge gave him the harshest sentence available.

“The depth of pain of a mother desperately trying to find some way to help her little boy as he lay dying is excruciating,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The day Aiden was murdered, his car seat meant to protect him from violent car crashes couldn’t protect him from the bullet that ripped through the back of his car seat and through his heart. The actions Marcus Eriz took were his and his alone and as a result of those actions Aiden’s loved ones will never again hear Aiden’s laughs, see his smiles, or feel his hugs. Marcus Eriz pulled out his gun and fired it into a moving car because he wanted to world to know what he was capable of – and what he took was the life of a little six-year-old boy and the sense of security of drivers everywhere who worry that driving on our freeways could be a death sentence, not because of a crash but because of a bullet. I am grateful Judge King realized that this wasn’t a horrible mistake; this is a cold-blooded murder who is more focused on his life after prison rather than the little boy whose life he ended before it even began.”

Aiden Leos

Just after 8 a.m. on May 21, 2021, Aiden was on his way to kindergarten at Calvary Chapel in Yorba Linda in the back seat of his mother’s car. Aiden’s mother was driving northbound on the 55 Freeway near Chapman Avenue in Orange when she flipped off the driver of a Volkswagen Sportswagen 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 on the side of the freeway and getting Aiden out of his car seat and calling 911. Eriz, who was in the rear seat of the Volkswagen, had loaded a handgun, opened a window and shot at the mother’s vehicle, piercing it and striking Aiden.

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

The driver of the Volkswagen, 26-year-old Wynne Lee 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 of both counts.  She is awaiting trial and remains out of custody on GPS monitoring after posting $100,000 bond in July 2021.

After Aiden was murdered, 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’ vehicle.

Eriz and Lee were arrested by CHP officers on June 6, 2021.

Eriz will now spend the rest of his adult life in prison and will have plenty of time to think about the horror he caused by losing his temper.

This episode is a strong reminder to all of us to avoid causing road rage when we are behind the wheel. You never know if someone might be unhinged and armed.

By Editor

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

One thought on “Road rage shooter who killed a little boy on the 55 Freeway gets 40 years to life in prison”
  1. I think it’s a total miscarriage of just that this woman is facing a max sentence of only 3 years? She should have been charged as an accessory to murder, before, during an after the fact. It seems, as the driver, she continued to pursue this woman and position her car so that the scum bag with her could fire the shot that killed that little boy. Imo, she should be facing a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

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