Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Suen vs. Aceda: One Jenkins Ranch Hand Murders Another.

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A Killing Near Newhall.

Liboro Aceda was killed in the Castaic canyon, ten miles from Newhall, by Juan Suen, Thursday night. The murderer gave himself up and is now in the county jail.

The tragedy took place here W.M. Jenkins' ranch [sic; s/b W.W.] Suen claims that while he was cooking supper in his cabin Aceda came up and began to talk with him. They had several drinks together, Aceda having been considerably under the influence of liquor before he came to the cabin. Aceda finally said he wanted to go home, and asked Suen to help him. This the latter started to do, but they had not gone more than half a mile before Aceda struck him several violent blows over the head with a stick. Suen grappled with him and they rolled upon the ground. Aceda secured the advantage and announced his intention of killing him.

Believing that the man intended to carry out this threat, Suen pulled out his case knife and stabbed Aceda in the breast. The later let go his hold upon Suen and fell over in the road at once.

Suen wandered along and sat down by a haystack to think it over, and went to sleep. When he awoke he went to Jenkins' ranch and reported the deed. Afterward the body was found where he had said the fight took place. Suen then went on through Newhall to San Fernando, where he surrendered himself to the authorities. He was brought to the city on the afternoon train by Deputy Sheriff Lopez.

Suen is a Mexican and does not speak English. He is a small man. When questioned regarding the cause of the affair he told Mr. Lopez, who acted as interpreter, that about eight years ago he and the dead man had gotten into a quarrel over some work. Suen says he was the superintendent and had ordered Aceda to perform certain labor, and the latter had disputed with him. Since then they had been on friendly terms. The only cause Aceda had for attacking him was he believed on account of being intoxicated. Suen was employed as a ranch hand, and is unmarried. Aceda was a half-breed.

Coroner Campbell went to the scene of the tragedy yesterday morning to hold an inquest.

Coroner Campell returned last night from holding the inquest upon the remains of the murdered man.

He stated that it had probably been a cold blooded murder and that Suen could hardly establish a case of self-defense. The most important witness examined was Valenta Yuca. He states that Suen told him that he, Suen, and Aceda had been riding on the same horse and that the latter was in the rear. Aceda began beating Suen upon the back and he struck him several times with his quirt to make him desist. Aceda kept it up, however, until they came to a dry wash when both jumped to the ground and Suen stabbed him through the heart. It was also stated that the two had had a quarrel several days previous.

Mr. Jenkins testified that this man Yuca had confessed to having witnessed the fight but the latter denied this upon the stand. Jenkins said that the three men, Suen, Yuca and Aceda, had come to his place about 9:30 Thursday night to get a saddle. They were talking very boisterously but no outbreak occurred. Yesterday morning he saw the two former on his ranch and Suen said he had killed Aceda and asked what he should do. Jenkins told him to either slip out and get caught finally, or else go and surrender himself to the authorities, which he did.

A verdict was rendered in accordance with the facts.

Yuca will probably be arrested today on a charge of being an accessory to the murder.

News story courtesy of Lauren Parker.


• Bill Jenkins & Lazy Z

••• SERIES •••
Chormicle, Gardener Tried for Murder of Cook, Walton

• Pollack Story 2014
• Reynolds Story
• C. Rasmussen Story


Story of Bill Jenkins
Kreider 1952


W.C. Chormicle


Chormicle Allies Start a School, 1889/90


Land Feud Goes to Court 1890


Chormicle's Son Arrested 1890


Dolores Cook Land Patent 1891


Suen Murders Aceda 1895


Chormicle Sued for Slander 1910

SEE ALSO: Lazy Z (Jenkins Ranch) Graves Unearthed 1998

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