Sunday, February 28, 2021

Wanted man captured, arraigned on attempted murder charges

The man accused of deliberately crashing into an ATV in Princeton and seriously injuring a teenage girl in May was formally charged in Colusa County Superior Court, on Friday.

Raymond Michael Zapien, 31, of Princeton, who had been on the run since the May 31 crash, was arrested by the Colusa County Task Force and Yuba/Sutter County Net 5 Task Force without incident in Yuba City on June 24.

Zapien was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, DUI, conspiracy to commit a crime, and others. He is scheduled to appear in court today to enter a plea.

Colusa County District Attorney Matthew Beauchamp is also charging Zapien’s girlfriend, Skye Flores, of Oroville, and sister, Veronica Zapien, of Princeton, with conspiracy to commit a crime and as accessories after the fact for allegedly spiriting Zapien away from Colusa County not long after the collision and hiding his whereabouts during the investigation.

Flores, who has not yet been arraigned, is also being charged with child endangerment.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Flores, and her 15-year-old son, Silas, were passengers in Zapien’s 2014 Buick LaCross, as he drove northbound on Highway 45 around 4 PM on May 31.

The CHP said Zapien veered off the road and struck a stalled ATV, driven by Destiny Sorrels, who was airlifted to Enloe Hospital with neck and other injuries, following the collision.

The CHP said Zapien and Flores were involved in an argument prior to the ATV collision, and that the crash may have been a deliberate attempt by Zapien to kill himself, Flores, and her son.

After colliding with the ATV, the CHP said Zapien attempted to drive away from the scene when a separate vehicle, driven by good samaritan, Kyle Wills, pulled in front of the Buick in an attempt to block Zapien’s escape.

Zapien crashed into Wills’ vehicle, disabling his own vehicle and injuring Wills, before getting out of the car and fleeing the scene on foot, the CHP said.

Zapien has a lengthy criminal history in Colusa County, and was previously charged as a co-defendant in the attempted murder of a Maxwell couple in 2007. He later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of being an accessary to the shooting, and was sentenced to two years in state prison, court records indicate. Zapien has also been convicted of burglary, possession of a controlled substance, grand theft, and violating the terms of Post Release Community Supervision, all on separate occasions.

On Friday, Colusa County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Ufkes Olivera revoked Zapien’s PRCS and ordered Zapien to remain in jail without bail for violating the terms of his release. She set his bail on the attempted murder charge at $500,000.

Olivera also ordered Zapien to have no contact, directly or through another person, with any of the victims, Flores, or his sister. â– 

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at susan@colusacountynews.net

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