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Mugsy's murder case continues

Bar stabbing suspects return to court March 25

Posted: March 16, 2009 1:21 a.m.
Updated: March 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

It's been more than three years since the brutal murder of Louis Alexander Campanelli behind Mugsy's bar in Canyon Country. But when Christopher and Ralph Rosas enter a San Fernando Superior Court room to face murder charges March 25, the case will be back to where it started.

Campanelli was found stabbed and beaten to death behind Mugsy's Bar in Canyon Country on Feb. 26, 2006.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's deputies originally arrested Christopher and Ralph Rosas for Campanelli's murder, said Detective Steve Lankford of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau.

Christopher Rosas, 47, was a co-owner of the bar. One month after the arrest, he and Ralph Rosas were let go due to lack of evidence, Lankford said.

"Originally, these two were arrested in March 2006 but were subsequently released by the District Attorney's office on insufficient evidence," he said. "Obviously, the sheriff's homicide bureau felt otherwise."

Detective continued to work the case and new evidence pointed at the Rosas brothers and a new suspect: Christopher Rosas' wife, Cynthia Rosas, Lankford said. Christopher, Ralph and Cynthia Rosas were arrested again on Aug. 18, 2008. Cynthia Rosas is due in San Fernando Superior Court March 24.

"It was something that was long overdue," Lankford said.

When the original charges were dropped, investigators were reportedly in the midst of gathering physical evidence.

The sole witness, an unidentified woman, wrote in a four-page statement that Campanelli had been beaten to death. But she stated she could not see the assailants because she was hit over the head and had a plastic container placed over her head.

It was then that she reportedly heard Campanelli being murdered. While she wrote in her initial statement that she could not hear who the killers were, she later told investigators she believed Chris and Ralph Rosas committed the murder.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Ralph Rosas at his residence in Santa Clarita.

Then, later in the evening that same day, Lankford accompanied Arizona law enforcement officers in the town of Glendale, Ariz., outside Phoenix, in arresting Christopher Rosas at his place of employment. Christopher Rosas moved to Arizona and began work with a trucking company there, Lankford said.

Cynthia Rosas is being held in lieu of $1 million bond. Ralph and Christopher Rosas are being held in $1,075,000 and $1 million bail respectively.


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