The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office filed a $1 million arrest warrant Monday in connection with the June 2 beating death of a bouncer outside Pats II Cocktails in South Redondo Beach, according to a news release from the police department.
Carson resident Rene Anthony Avina, 23, and Redondo Beach resident Francisco "Frank" Cobarruvias, 35, are suspected of beating Torrance resident Terie Colecchi outside the bar after Colecchi denied them entry, police said. Colecchi died at the hospital soon after.
Police described Avina as a Hispanic man who is 5-feet-10-inches tall with black hair and black eyes. Anyone who encounters Avina should call 911, police said. People with information as to his whereabouts should asked to call the tip line at 310-937-6685, text 310-339-2362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. People may also contact the police department directly at 310-379-2477.
"We believe—we're hoping—he's still somewhere in the Southland," said police Sgt. Shawn Freeman.
Cobarruvias, the other suspect, is currently being held on $1 million bail. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday for arraignment. The hearing was postponed to next week.
Avina is the nephew of Alejandro Avina, who was arrested June 3 but released only a couple of days later pending further investigation, Freeman told Patch. After he was released, Alejandro Avina told Daily Breeze reporter Larry Altman that he was home sleeping during the attack.
The two Avinas and Cobarruvias are also related, Freeman told Patch.
"It's our understanding that Frank (Cobarruvias) and Alejandro Avina are cousins," Freeman said. "It's our understanding that Alejandro is Rene (Avina)'s uncle."
According to Freeman, certain details in the investigation—including the fact that the two suspects appeared to leave the scene in a white Audi registered to Alejandro Avina—led to Alejandro Avina's arrest.
"We did have probable cause and reasonable suspicion at the time," Freeman said. The ongoing investigation then lead police to suspect Rene Avina and release Alejandro Avina. "We're still looking at what involvement—if any—Alejandro has in this whole entire investigation."
Freeman called the case "still an ongoing, active investigation."
"We're still talking to witnesses; we're still looking for Rene," he said.
Cobarruvias' lawyer, Jeffrey Gray, has maintained that his client's arrest is a case of mistaken identity. Additionally, he told Altman that the suspects should be facing voluntary manslaughter—not murder—charges.