Arnold Drive killer faces 21 years after 'no contest' plea
A Sonoma man faces 21 years in prison after he pleaded no contest Friday to voluntary manslaughter in a 2009 shooting at a residence on Arnold Drive.
Salvador Camargo, 28, of Sonoma, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and admitted a sentencing enhancement of having personally used a firearm in the death of Kenneth Swolley, 52, of Penngrove, on May 9, 2009. Camargo is expected to receive a term of 21 years when he's sentenced on June 10.
Camargo was renting a room in a residence in the 21400 block of Arnold Drive and Swolley was working at the residence at the time of the killing.
According to District Attorney Jill Ravitch, Swolley was working on stereo equipment in the residence when Camargo shot him in the head at close range. Camargo then took the firearm and tossed it in a pond in a nearby vineyard. The murder weapon was recovered by dive teams from both Sonoma and Solano counties and was determined to have been the weapon used during the killing.
After the shooting, Camargo fled the residence and was later located at another residence three miles away.
Camargo was previously found incompetent to stand trial and was transferred to Napa State Hospital. On Jan. 15, 2010, the Grand Jury indicted Camargo for the murder of Swolley. Camargo returned to Sonoma County Superior Court on Jan. 29, 2010, and initially entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. Due to the circumstances, including mental health evaluations of Camargo near the time of the homicide and his use of controlled substances before the murder, the District Attorney and Camargo entered into the plea agreement.
"Holding the defendant accountable for the death of Mr. Swolley will bring some measure of peace to his family, who can now put this part of the case behind them," Ravitch said.
She added that she anticipates Swolley's family will address the court at sentencing to express the impact the death has had on them.
The District Attorney's Office and the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office worked closely during this investigation, and in its presentation to the criminal grand jury. The investigation was lead by Sgt. Shawn Murphy of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.