SNOHOMISH — Early on the morning of Dec. 16, a husband and wife were in the bedroom in their Snohomish home when they heard someone enter, according to criminal charges filed Monday.
Around 12:30 a.m., the wife heard footsteps. The sound came closer until two masked men carrying guns came in the bedroom. The husband immediately recognized one of them as a man he knew as “Poncho.” His real name was Eleazar Cabrera, according to prosecutors.
The men reportedly demanded cash. One rifled through the dresser. The intruders pointed their guns at the wife, yelling at her to get down. The husband stood up, telling them, “You’re not going to do that to my wife.”
He called Cabrera by his nickname. His wife recalled a man who went by “Poncho” working on her husband’s car, but she hadn’t seen him for a year, she later told investigators.
While the husband stood, Cabrera shot him multiple times from behind, prosecutors allege. The wife couldn’t remember how many shots were fired. While on the ground, the husband heard the men take something from the dresser before fleeing.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies arrived to find the husband on his stomach in the bedroom, with blood soaking through a towel on his back. Cabrera had shot him three times, twice in his hip and once in the back, according to the charges.
One of the bullets lodged itself in the man’s prosthetic hip. Doctors believe this saved his life, since the bullet otherwise would’ve broken a bone and severed an artery, according to court papers.
Deputies reportedly discovered three shell casings for a .45-caliber pistol in the home.
The men may have been demanding the couple’s money because the husband had recently won a sizable jackpot at the casino, the wife told detectives. But she wasn’t sure how they’d know about that, according to court documents.
The wife used her “Find My Phone” app on her tablet to trace an iPhone the men had stolen. The app traced the phone to a nearby intersection, where deputies found it on the side of the road, court papers say.
It took police over a month to track down Cabrera. On Jan. 19, the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force arrested him after a short chase in Arlington.
Authorities continued to look for the second intruder in the home invasion, deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn said.
On Monday, prosecutors charged Cabrera, 33, with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and unlawful firearm possession in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Cabrera, of Marysville, has a lengthy criminal history. As an adult, he has been convicted of eight felonies, court records show. Three of those are for unlawful firearm possession.
“The defendant is a serious danger to the safety of the community,” Langbehn wrote in this week’s charging papers.
In 2015, Cabrera pleaded guilty to pointing a gun at his neighbor’s face and threatening a deputy’s family. He was released from custody in 2019.
In November of last year, prosecutors also charged him with arson, accusing him of lighting his girlfriend’s car on fire and threatening her. At arraignment in that case, prosecutors pushed for Judge Jon Scott to set bail at $25,000.
On Nov. 28, less than a month before the alleged home invasion shooting in Snohomish, Scott released Cabrera from jail instead, with the condition he not have any guns, court records show. That case remained pending this week.
On Tuesday, the suspect remained at the Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $2 million.
Arraignment was set for March 13.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; email@example.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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