Cameron John Espitia, 31, was arrested in the fatal shooting of Jennifer Espitia, 29, who was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center early Sunday. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of homicide.
A man accused of shooting his wife in the head while they were riding in an Uber car through Queen Anne early Sunday told police he didn’t remember anything from the time they were waiting for the car until he awoke later in some bushes, according to court documents filed Monday.
Cameron John Espitia, 31, was arrested in the fatal shooting of Jennifer Espitia, 29, who was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center. He was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of homicide.
A judge Monday set bail at $3 million. Prosecutors haven’t yet filed formal charges against Espitia, who was being held on probable cause of one count of second-degree murder.
The couple got into an Uber car for a ride shortly after midnight Sunday, according to probable-cause documents. The driver said Jennifer Espitia sat in the front passenger seat and Cameron Espitia sat behind the driver.
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The two started arguing, and the driver heard a loud boom, which he said he first thought was a tire blowing but realized it was a gunshot. He looked over and saw Jennifer Espitia’s head slumped forward. Thinking he would be shot next, the driver asked Cameron Espitia where he would like to be taken, to which he responded to just drive, according to court documents.
The suspect told the driver to stop near Second Avenue West and West McGraw Place, and then got out. The driver called police.
Police found Cameron Espitia shortly before 2 a.m. walking about six blocks away from where he got out of the car. He had a small, semi-automatic pistol in an ankle holster.
“When asked how he was, Cameron said he was not having a good night with his wife,” the court documents say.
Espitia told officers he had been drinking alcohol and didn’t remember what had happened between the time he and his wife were looking for a car and when he later woke up in some bushes, according to the documents.
Jennifer Espitia graduated from Mercer Island High School and was on the rowing team at Saint Mary’s College in California, according to a college-athletics biography. She won a community-service award for her work as a peer educator at Planned Parenthood, working at a day care and building homes in Mexico. She most recently worked in employee benefits at the risk-prevention/insurance-needs firm Marsh & McLennan Agency, according to her Facebook page.
Court records say Cameron Espitia worked for the U.S. Coast Guard.
On Monday, prosecutor David Glindmeyer told King County District Court Judge Mark Chow a factor in asking for $3 million bail was an email the prosecutor received from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. The email, he said, referred to the killing as an execution.
Coast Guardsman Elliot Felix told Chow he’s known Espitia for five years and believes he isn’t capable of committing such a crime. He pleaded with the judge to consider a lesser-bail amount.
“I would not in a million years think he would do something like this,” Felix said.
Defense attorney Kristen Gestaut cited Espitia’s lack of criminal history and strong ties to his Coast Guard community as deterrence that he’d flee. She asked the judge to consider $500,000 bail.
Near the couple’s South Seattle home in Hillman City, neighbors of the Espitias said the couple had lived in the neighborhood for about a year but didn’t socialize much with others.
Espitia’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.