Alleged Glendale Pimp Arrested for 2009 Mistaken Identity Murder of California Do-Gooder

An alleged Glendale pimp was arrested yesterday in connection with the 2009 murder of a California man he thought was a guy he'd argued with in front of an apartment building. The man the pimp shot, however, was not the person with whom he was arguing -- he was a 22-year-old volunteer at a community outreach center.

According to police in San Rafael, California, 19-year-old Michael Powell Jr. was arrested in Glendale for the November 30, 2009, murder of 22-year-old Donald Espinoza Ordonez.

Ordonez, a volunteer at the Canal Alliance, a community outreach organization set up to help low-income immigrants, was gunned down while hanging Christmas decorations in front of his apartment on Larkspur Street in San Rafael.

Just before the shooting, police say Powell Jr. had an argument in front of the same apartment building with another man. Following the argument, Powell Jr. went to his house, grabbed a gun, and returned with his friend, 
20-year-old Nickie Donald Jr., to hunt down the man with whom he was arguing, according to police.

But Powell Jr. didn't find his target -- rather, he found a 22-year-old kid hanging Christmas decorations, and he shot him multiple times before fleeing with Donald Jr.

Police believe the shooting is a case of mistaken identity.

Powell Jr. moved to Glendale after the murder, and might have gotten away with it if it weren't for some surveillance footage from a nearby liquor store, in which he appears and is what led police to his door.

Powell Jr. is still in Arizona, at the moment, but will soon be extradited back to California where he will face
a murder charge, as well as several pimping and pandering charges.

Some of the prostitutes in Powell Jr's. stable, authorities say, were under 18 years old.

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James King
Contact: James King