Journalism of Courage

Groom beaten to death at his wedding reception



Two brothers face murder charges for allegedly beating a groom to death after crashing his wedding reception, California police said.

No one at the reception over the weekend knew the assailants, and they were asked to leave the party, according to law enforcement.

A fight broke out, and police were called to the scene east of Los Angeles around 2 a.m. Sunday. Authorities found two victims with minor injuries, and witnesses told them another person involved in the altercation was missing.

In another home’s backyard, they located the groom, Joe Melgoza, suffering from blunt force trauma to his head. Melgoza, 30, died from his injuries at Chino Valley Medical Center.

Police arrested Josue Castaneda Ramirez, 19, and Rony Castaneda Ramirez, 28, both of Chino, at their nearby home. They are held in West Valley Detention Center without bail.

Chino Police Sgt. Dustin Tomicic said he does not know whether lawyers represent the brothers.

One of Melgoza’s cousins set up a GoFundMe page Monday to raise money for his funeral and support his 11-year-old daughter. More than $22,000 had been donated as of Tuesday night.

“He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way,” Alice Alvarez wrote. “He leaves behind his daughter Lilly who will be in good hands with Joe’s family.”

Contributing: The Associated Press 

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