Santa Paula Times

Woman accused of Mill Park murder appears in court

April 09, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly  Santa Paula Times The Santa Paula woman accused of gunning down a young mother and aspiring photographer in an area park in September was ordered to stand trial on a murder charge.

The judge’s decision came after a preliminary hearing for 32-year-old Yajayra Lizette Dominguez held Thursday in a Ventura County Superior Court. 

Dominguez is charged with the death of 21-year-old Ashley Calanche of Santa Paula. 

Calanche was fatally shot in Mill Park in the 700 block of North Ojai Road on September 27, 2013. The incident occurred just blocks from Calanche’s home. 

Just hours before she was gunned down Calanche posted on her Facebook page, “I really wanted to go to school today” but had missed the bus to Brooks Institute of Photography where she was a student. 

She wrote she would email her teacher and ask if she could do an assignment locally before she headed off to the park.

Santa Paula Police were called at about 1 p.m. and told a woman had been discovered dead at the park and responding officers found Calanche’s body between an oak tree and a picnic table near basketball courts on the west side of the park. 

A woman that witnesses told police fled from the scene on foot accompanied by a second female had shot Calanche in the head.

After the shooting, Dominguez was identified as the suspect and was arrested that evening after a 90-minute standoff at a residence in the 500 block of Casabella Court, during which police said she threatened to kill herself.

SPPD Lt. Ish Cordero said Thursday, “Detective Paul Spencer attended Dominguez’s preliminary hearing... she was held to answer on the homicide and allegation of using a firearm in the commission of a crime.”

Dominguez remains in jail on $1.2 million bail. She is scheduled to make a court appearance April 15 to be arraigned on the charges and have a trial date set.

Calanche was a Facebook friend of Ashley Moran, who was found dead in Obregon Park March 15; also 21 years old, Moran was in the early stages of pregnancy when her body was found near the park’s basketball court. She had suffered a beating and had puncture wounds to her neck.

Police are still investigating Moran’s murder.