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Police make arrest in 2008 cold case homicide

A suspect was charged this week in a gang-related 2008 cold case homicide and an additional attempted murder in 2011, the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office reported Friday.

Jorge Trujillo Rodriguez is suspected in the stabbing of 20-year-old Leonardo Barajas outside the Clifford Manor Apartments in Watsonville on Oct. 3, 2008. Barajas died before he could be taken to a hospital, and his death marked the first homicide of that year in Watsonville.

Police said the case went cold because witnesses were not participating in the investigation. Investigators later connected Rodriguez to an attempted murder in 2011.

Rodriguez made his first court appearance on Wednesday and his arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 18 in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

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