Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 5
DA asks court to review judge's ruling in Murillo case
BY AMY ASMAN
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office recently filed a motion in Superior Court to reinstate charges against Orcutt rapper Anthony Murillo on the grounds that Judge Patricia Kelly “erroneously dismissed the action.”
The 20-year-old was accused of threatening the victims of the Shane Villalpadno sex-crime case in a song called “Moment for Life Remix.” Murillo is a friend of Villalpando, a former St. Joseph High School student currently serving a jail sentence for having unlawful sex with a minor.
The Santa Maria judge ruled in March that the song didn’t provide enough proof of a threat for felony charges.
“I see that the People have met the elements for certain parts of the charge, but I don’t see that this meets the element for the defendant willfully threatening to use force or violence against the individual Jane Doe 1 or Jane Doe 2,” Kelly said.
“Moment for Life” calls out both of Villalpando’s victims by their first and last names, and ends with the lines, “I said go and get the Feds, cuz you’re going to end up dead/You’ll be laying on the bed, because I’m coming for your head bitch!”
Murillo posted the song last fall on various social media platforms, including Reverbnation.com and Facebook.com, on which he said, “Here it is my new song ‘Moment for Life’ remix for the homie Shane-o miss you G ... IDC what people think hate it or hate me if want for doing what I did, but honestly fuck snitches!!! You know.”
According to the legal filing, Murillo visited Villalpando in the Santa Barbara County Jail in September of last year and told his friend that people were calling him and telling him to take down the song. Murillo said he wasn’t going to do that, and sang a part of the song for Villalpando. He told Villalpando that when he posted the song, he thought, “Fuck those bitches.”
In the filing, the DA uses case law to argue that the charges—willfully threatening to use force or violence against a witness who gave assistance or information to a law enforcement officer in a criminal or juvenile case—apply to “threatening statements that a reasonable listener would understand, in light of the context and surrounding circumstances, to constitute a true threat.”
The DA asked in the filing that the charges against Murillo be reinstated and that the ruling be performed by a different Superior Court judge.
The review is expected to be heard in May.
Murillo’s lawyer, William Makler, could not be reached as of press time. During previous hearings, Makler argued that the song should be considered “free speech” and therefore be protected by the First Amendment.