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Parole denied for dealer, killer

Ehriberto Arcelara, 47, was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison in 1991 for felony murder.

August 10, 2011|By Mona Shadia, mona.shadia@latimes.com

The parole hearing of a drug dealer convicted of stabbing to death a 27-year-old tennis player over $20 worth of drugs was denied Tuesday after Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas opposed it.

Ehriberto Arcelara, 47, was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison in 1991 for one felony count of murder and a sentencing enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon in Huntington Beach, according to the district attorney's office.

Arcelara's parole hearing was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Calipatria State Prison in Imperial County, where he's serving his sentence, prosecutors said.

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On the night of Sept. 21, 1990, Stephen Aniston — who, before starting to use cocaine, received an athletic scholarship from UC Irvine — met with Arcelara to buy $20 worth of drugs, according to prosecutors. Aniston, who was ranked among the world's top 200 tennis players by the United State Tennis Assn., lost his scholarship as a result of using cocaine, prosecutors said.

During the transaction, a dispute broke out between the two, and Arcelara, who was 26 at the time, stabbed Aniston, prosecutors said.

Aniston managed to escape in his car and was spotted by Huntington Beach police officers on Yorktown Avenue east of Beach Boulevard.

The officers attempted to stop him, but Aniston crossed the center divider and crashed.

He was found with severe injuries from the stabbing and died at the scene before help arrived, prosecutors said.

In a period of five years, Arcelara was arrested under 21 different aliases on suspicion of various crimes, including narcotic-related offenses, and has had 16 major violations since going to prison, prosecutors said.

He continues to deny his guilt in the stabbing of Aniston and has not shown any remorse, prosecutors said.

Deputy District Attorney Renee Jones attended Arcelara's hearing and opposed the parole on Rackauckas' behalf.

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