An Oakland man has been charged with a 2003 murder in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, San Francisco prosecutors said today.
Joevon Bowen, 31, was arrested last week and faces one count of murder in connection with the Feb. 19, 2003, fatal shooting of 26-year-old Armando Arce, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Arce was shot at about 3:30 a.m. near Willow Alley and Polk Street.
Bowen was long suspected of being involved in Arce’s killing, but San Francisco prosecutors declined to charge him until recently.
“The case had been reviewed several times since 2003, and now with information developed in conjunction with the successful prosecution of another defendant for this and related crimes in Alameda County, we’ve charged defendant Bowen with the murder of Armando Arce,” district attorney’s office spokeswoman Erica Derryck said today.
Monterrio Davis, of Oakland, was convicted in Alameda County in 2008 of three murders, for his role as a lookout in Arce’s murder in San Francisco, and for the killings of two men in Oakland hours earlier, on Feb. 18. Davis, 25, was later sentenced to life in prison.
Alameda County prosecutors said Davis, Bowen and others had been part of a plan to start a new branch of the “Nut Cases,” a notorious Oakland street gang that became weakened in early 2003 when many of its leaders were arrested.
The Feb. 18 and Feb. 19, 2003, murders were considered a test of their dependability and loyalty, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Chris Lamiero said during Davis’ trial.
“I’m just thrilled after six years they’ve got the man,” Armando Arce’s aunt, Alice Arce, said today.
“My first thought is I want to see him (Bowen), I want to see his face,” she said. “I want to see the person who shot my nephew to death 12 times.”
“At last there’s justice for Armando,” Arce said.
Arce said she was disappointed it took so long to arrest Bowen.
She said she thinks San Francisco authorities “could have found the same witnesses” that Alameda County authorities used in prosecuting Davis because “the cases are inter-related.”
Armando Arce was of Mexican heritage but was born in the U.S., his aunt said. He grew up with his grandmother in South San Francisco because his mother died when he was young. His father lives in Sacramento.
“Armando was one of those people who you can’t help but adore,” she said. “He had a lot of family and we all adored him.”
Arce said Armando lived off a small inheritance from his grandmother but “was ready to settle down and get a good job,” possibly as an auto mechanic because he had some training and experience in the field.
She said Armando was actually planning to move to Union City to live with a friend on the same day that he was killed.
“Twenty-four hours would have made all the difference,” she said.
Arce said Armando had been living in the area where he was killed, on the fringe of the Tenderloin, for several years. She said he had been saying good-bye to people and was on his way to a local store when he was shot.
Armando couldn’t escape from his assailant because he’d been in a bad car accident and couldn’t run, according to Arce.
Armando “was as disabled as an 85-year-old man would have been,” Arce said.
“He couldn’t run and had to stay and suffer the consequences,” she said.