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Rosas brothers on trial in murder at Mugsy's

Duo due in Superior Court today

Posted: September 7, 2008 9:30 p.m.
Updated: November 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Three people accused of murdering a Canyon Country bar owner are scheduled to appear in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

Brothers Christopher and Ralph Rosas and Cynthia Rosas are scheduled to appear in court in San Fernando for the murder of Louis Alexander Campanelli.

Campanelli was Christopher Rosas business partner. Campanelli was beaten to death behind Mugsy's Bar Feb. 26, 2006. The lone witness to the murder, an unidentified bar employee, claims to have heard Campanelli beaten but could not see the murderers.

The witness penned a four-page letter, which she claims to have been struck in the head by the assailant and then had plastic container placed over her head. This revelation contradicted an earlier statement when the witness told investigators she could not hear the killers, said Steve Lankford, sheriff's department homicide detective.

The case went cold and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office dropped the charges on the Rosas brothers at what scheduled to have been the alleged suspects arraignment March 14, 2006. Investigators tried unsuccessfully to connect Cynthia Rosas to the murder.

While the D.A. wasn't convinced by the evidence, Lankford continued to press.

"There was physical evidence waiting to be processed. Once it was processed, we believe it would have strengthened our case," Lankford told The Signal in March 2006.

Christopher and Cynthia Rosas were arrested on an unrelated charge for possession of methamphetamine in March 2006. Both were released on bond.

Mugsy's Bar in Canyon Country remained closed and the suspects started putting their lives back together.

Ralph Rosas took a job at a body shop in the San Fernando Valley. Christopher Rosas moved to Arizona and worked for a trucking company, Lankford said.

Investigators continued to compile evidence against the Rosas brothers. New evidence in the case prompted sheriff's deputies to arrest Ralph and Christopher Rosas.

Ralph was arrested at his home in Santa Clarita. Lankford flew to Arizona and accompanied Glendale Ariz. police in arresting and extraditing Christopher Rosas.

Christopher and Ralph Rosas were arraigned and charged with first degree murder on Aug. 18. Cynthia Rosas was arrested Aug. 27. All three are being held in lieu of $1 million bail.


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