Husband, wife arrested in fatal bar shooting of Santa Maria man

Jonathan David Highley, 35, of Orcutt.
Jonathan David Highley, 35, of Orcutt.

An Orcutt man and his wife have been arrested in connection with the Saturday morning shooting that left a Santa Maria man dead in Old Town Orcutt.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Anthony Steven San Juan, 42, of Santa Maria.

About 1:30 a.m., San Juan was found with a gunshot wound in the parking lot behind Elmer’s bar on East Clark Avenue after deputies responded to calls of a shooting. San Juan was declared dead at the scene.

Jonathan David Highley, 35, of Orcutt was taken into custody shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday while leaving his home with his wife and four children, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said Sunday.

After the fatal shooting, detectives set up surveillance in the neighborhood where the suspect reportedly had fled. Deputies arrested Highley after gathering evidence from the crime scene and interviewing several witnesses, Hoover added.

The relationship between the two men or the motive for killing were not known, Hoover said.

Highley was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of murder, preventing or dissuading a witness by force or threat, assault with a firearm on a person, threatening a crime with intent to terrorize, and intentional/personal discharge of a firearm in commitment of a felony causing death. Authorities requested he be held on $2 million bail.

Highley’s wife, Mayra Perez, 29, was booked on an accessory charge, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Child Protective Services took custody of the children.

The shooting victim had attended St. Joseph High School, according the school’s social media sites, which noted the loss Sunday morning. “God gained two angels this weekend. RIP Ryan Teixeira and SJ alum Tony San Juan. Our thoughts and prayers are with both of their families this morning and always,” the post noted.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.