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Trial to begin for Lodi man accused in woman’s murder

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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 12:00 am

A Lodi man accused of killing an 18-year-old woman and wounding her 17-year-old boyfriend as the couple arrived home from a date last year will stand trial starting today in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

Miguel Araiza Jr., 18, faces more than a dozen criminal charges, including murder, attempted murder and commissioning murder for the purposes of a street gang. He has spent 20 months in San Joaquin County Jail since being arrested in March 2012.

Police say Araiza pulled up in a vehicle next to Angelica Osorio and her boyfriend shortly before midnight on March 10, 2012, on the 00 block of South Garfield Street. Araiza is suspected of shooting Osorio once, then shooting her boyfriend multiple times before fleeing the scene, according to police.

Osorio was unresponsive when officers arrived. She later died at an area hospital. The boyfriend was also transported to a local hospital, but survived.

According to San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Janet Smith, Araiza and Osorio’s boyfriend were rival gang members. However, the boyfriend’s last known gang connection was several years before the shooting.

Osorio was not a member of a street gang, according to police.

In the days following the shooting, friends and family said Osorio, a Lodi High School student, had dreams of becoming a nurse and was the first member of her family to attend college.

“I didn’t believe it. I don’t know anyone who would try to hurt her,” Osorio’s 13-year-old sister, Brenda, said at the time. “I never pictured something happening to her.”

Within days, Lodi police detectives arrested Araiza, who was 17 years old at the time of the shooting. He was first booked into San Joaquin County Juvenile Detention Center, and then moved in January to the county jail, where he is being held without bond.

Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at krisa@lodinews.com.

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