Sonora Woman Charged with Murder, Neighbors Shocked

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People who knew popular businessman Rick Roberts and who live near the auto body shop where he was murdered expressed dismay that a woman was charged with his death.

Sonora Police say Cheryl Luero, 45, of Twain Harte was a person of interest after the February shooting death, but when she was questioned again on Wednesday, police say she admitted to being involved in the homicide.

Police say she and Roberts knew each other but did not elaborate on the relationship. No motive was given.

“Wow she’s a woman …that blows me away,” said neighor Carole Pinkston.

Pinkston says there was a lot of speculation about a motive. She hopes for more answers as the case proceeds.

Robert’s mother, Donna Butkey, was shown Lucero’s mug shot by Fox40 News, but she shook her head as she examined the picture. She said she knew nothing of the woman and was befuddled with her arrest.

“Ricky was usually open about everything, but I have no idea,” said Butkey.

She and family earlier had gone to the courthouse hoping to get a glimpse of the suspect during her arraignment, to give her “the evil eye,” but the arraignment won’t take place until next week.

Crystal Wise, whose kids used to play with Roberts, said she was shocked at the murder across from her house.

“It was sad…I’m glad thery made an arrest,” said Wise.

Robert’s step-brother Darren Butkey also didn’t recognize Lucero. He says the arrest goes a long way in solving a mystery for the family.

“I think they (police) are on the right track.. we’ll get justice,” said Butkey.

Police say a search warrant was used to gather forensic evidence that was sent to a Department of Justice lab. Lucero is in jail on a $1 million dollar bail.

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