A man sentenced to more than 85 years to life behind bars for failing to tell law enforcement about armed people holed up in his apartment, leading to the death of a San Diego police officer, was sentenced today to an additional year in custody after pleading guilty to a related charge of conspiracy to dissuade a witness from testifying.
Alex Charfauros, 29, was convicted last year of second-degree murder in the death of Officer Christopher Wilson in an Oct. 27, 2010, shootout.
As his trial approached, Charfauros was charged with talking with a former cellmate and the former cellmate's girlfriend about a witness in the case.
Today, defense attorney David Ira Berman argued that the additional year in custody should run concurrent to Charfauros' life sentence, but Judge Timothy Walsh agreed with prosecutor Michael Runyon that the sentence run consecutively because the crime was committed while Charfauros was in custody awaiting trial.
Charfauros admitted that he learned by reading the witness statement of Kristoffer Macalma that Macalma told police investigators that Charfauros knew his former roommate, Holim Lee, kept firearms at their apartment prior to the shootout that claimed Wilson's life.
Charfauros admitted that he wanted to keep Macalma from coming to court and testifying about what he told police.
The night of Oct. 27, 2010, probation officers and U.S. marshals went to Charfauros' apartment on South Meadowbrook Drive. Probation officers were checking on Charfauros, and the marshals were looking for Lee, who had outstanding warrants for assault and a probation violation.
Officers forced entry into the apartment and Charfauros came crawling out of the east bedroom.
Once outside, officers asked Charfauros if there were any guns, drugs or anyone else inside, but the defendant was uncooperative, Runyon said.
A number of officers were called to assist, including Wilson. Once inside, an officer kicked in the door of the west bedroom and "all hell broke loose at that point," Runyon said.
Wilson was shot in the head and died a short time later.
Charfauros had not told law enforcement that Lee and his girlfriend, Lucky Xayasene, were living in the apartment and that four guns and a shotgun were inside..
The bodies of Lee -- and Xayasene were found in the west bedroom with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Authorities believe shots fired by Lee killed the police officer.
—City News Service