Sheila Marie Ritze, a 42-year-old woman from San Juan Capistrano, was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison for her part in the murder of a man in October 2019. After a 12-day trial in April of 2022, she was found guilty of second-degree murder within the U.S.'s special maritime and territorial jurisdiction and one count of making false statements to federal officials.
In October 2019, Ritze was out on her boat with Hoang Xuan Le and the victim, who owed Le a debt. In the middle of the night, Ritze drove the boat out into the Pacific Ocean, where Le shot the victim. The victim fell overboard, and Ritze and Le left him to die in the ocean and returned to dock her boat. The victim did not die from the gunshot but rather from drowning. His body was recovered several miles northwest of Oceanside the next day.
During the investigation, Ritze told law enforcement officials that she had never met the victim before the boat trip, despite having been in Las Vegas together 11 days before the murder.
How A Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
When you are charged with a crime, figuring out who you can trust can be very overwhelming. A skilled criminal defense attorney will work tirelessly to ensure you receive a strategic defense that guarantees the best possible outcome for your case. In this case, Ritze was found guilty of second-degree murder and lying to federal investigators. She received over 20 years in federal prison for her role in the crime. But not all defendants facing such allegations would receive the same.
At Sigal Law Group, Attorney Vitaly Sigal is hyperfocused on finding defenses that negate the prosecution's arguments. Remember, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty. That means that the prosecution must prove the defendant committed the alleged act based on the evidence they presented. A skilled criminal defense attorney will know how to refute it. Call 818-325-0570 today for a free consultation.