Wife receives 1 year for accessory to murder

Mayra Perez

The wife of a man accused of killing Anthony Steven San Juan outside Elmer’s Bar in Old Town Orcutt was sentenced to 365 days in Santa Barbara County Jail and five years’ probation on Wednesday. Mayra Perez, who is in the country illegally, pleaded no contest in June to being an accessory to murder after the fact and aiding and abetting.

Shortly before 2 a.m. on March 4, Jonathan David Highley, 35, allegedly shot and killed San Juan, 43, of Santa Maria. Highley fled the scene following the shooting.

Shortly after 9 a.m., detectives took Highly into custody as he was leaving his home with his wife and four children.

Deputies arrested Highley’s wife, Mayra Perez, 29, on an accessory charge. Perez was booked in jail, and child protective services took custody of the couple’s children who are now staying with family members.

After allegedly murdering San Jaun, Highley called Perez who drove home from visiting family in Merced, did laundry, acted as a lookout, moved the murder weapon and lied to police during two separate interviews, prosecutors said.

While in custody, Perez has received 304 days of credits, and is likely to be released within the next two months.

Because Perez is currently under an immigration detainer, she faces the possibility of deportation after she is released.

Highley pleaded not guilty to murder and assault with a firearm. He is due back in court on Aug. 23.