A story for every victim

Dispute among neighbors turns deadly in Sun Valley

In a group of shacks behind a house on Beck Avenue in Sun Valley, a dispute among neighbors was brewing. Norberto Correa thought someone had been peeping into his window. He told a neighbor that he thought it was Jessie Ochoa, who lived in one of the shacks.

"He said that he was going to do something about it," said the neighbor, who testified in a preliminary hearing Oct. 17 about what he saw. He said Correa showed him his gun. "And I'm like, 'Don't do anything.' "

On Sept. 15, Jessie Ochoa woke up, drank some beer and headed out with the neighbor to get tacos. They worked construction together.

Upon returning to their shacks, Ochoa told the neighbor he was going to confront Correa over the peeping allegations.

Ochoa knocked on Correa’s door and told him to come outside. Ochoa cursed and told Correa that he didn't care if he brought his "little gun," the neighbor said in court.

He testified that he couldn't see Ochoa but could hear him shouting. And then he heard something else: a gunshot.

He walked over and found a dazed Ochoa bleeding from a wound in his cheek.

He allegedly saw Correa shoot Ochoa again, and Ochoa fell. Ochoa was pronounced dead at a hospital at 2:53 p.m. with gunshot wounds to the head and neck, according to L.A. County coroner’s records. Correa was arrested the next day.

Correa, 54, who is being held on $2.075-million bail, is accused of using a .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun to kill Ochoa, according to court records.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed an immigration detainer on him after he was arrested and fingerprinted, according to a statement from ICE.

Department of Homeland Security records show that Correa has been repatriated to Mexico at least seven times since 1999, most recently in 2011. He also has at least one prior felony conviction resulting from a drug violation in 1989.

Correa pleaded not guilty to murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm at an arraignment on Oct. 29.

A pretrial conference is set for Nov. 19 at the Van Nuys courthouse.

— Jon Schleuss

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