Man Relocated to Lafayette In Jail Post-Release Program Sought for Richmond Murder

A man wanted for questioning in the murder of a 16-year-old Richmond boy was released from jail after a domestic violence conviction and relocated to Lafayette in October 2011, police say.


A 27-year-old man relocated to Lafayette after a domestic violence conviction last year has a history of arrests for weapons violations and violent crimes, police said Tuesday, and is being sought in connection with the Aug. 5 murder of a 16-year-old Richmond youth.

Matthew John Capanis was named by Richmond police Tuesday as a suspect in the shooting death of Ulises Grijalva in Richmond Sunday night. Capanis, described as armed and dangerous, was relocated to a home in Lafayette in October 2011 following his conviction for domestic violence per California's prison realingment plan -- AB 109.

Richmond police spokesperson Bisa French said Capanis has had numerous arrests for weapons violations and a succession of violent crimes in Contra Costa County. He is the second man named as a suspect in Grijalva's murder -- parolee Jacob Stephens, 29, of Antioch was allegedly arrested while fleeing the scene of the shooting.

Grijalva was found fatally wounded at 121 W. Macdonald Ave. in Richmond after police received reports of shots fired at 9:30 p.m., French said.

Capanis is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He has brown eyes and hair. His arms and back are covered in tattoos.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Richmond police detectives Wentz at (510) 621-1259 or Wellhausen at (510) 620-6860.

Bay City News Service

Eastofthehills August 08, 2012 at 06:31 PM
@Valerie - It's not the section 8 person who is the problem it's all of their family and friends. Poor grandma qualifies for section 8; pretty soon dead beat grandson, crack fiend mom, and tweaker boyfriend all move in. Then all the "friends" of these people start coming around... yeah the actual section 8 people are usually ok; it's their family an friends that are the problem.
john August 08, 2012 at 06:33 PM
All you people are ignorant especially Amanda. Some people change some people dont. I'm a parolee got out on the same program and was violent also but now i own 2 businesses and just got married and everything is going good. I also live in a predominately white neighborhood. So all this take about send them away how about YOU go away some where away from the bay area where this kind of stuff happens and how do you just decide this"kid" was sooooo good. He was handing out in the projects! Don't be so ignorant people!
X August 08, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Amanda - The landlord should have reported them. That was the good thing about Section 8. There were always people on the waiting list so if you booted out a bad Section 8 tenant, you could get another tenant right away. You never had to weigh whether or not it was worth it to risk losing a rent payment because you could get another tenant very easily. Meth was just becoming an issue when we had the units and I think I read that in addition to being a lifetime sex offender you were also banned from the program for life if you were convicted of making meth in a Section 8 rental. Not 100% sure on this one. And, as I say, this was 10 years ago. No idea how things are now. It's sad that a few bad apples give the whole program a bad image. That's why those not following the rules should be immediately kicked out of the program and lose their benefits. Too many good families who really needed the help were stuck on long waiting lists. Creeps shouldn't come before those folks.
Robert Strauss August 08, 2012 at 06:39 PM
John -- did I just hear you say that the murder victim deserved what he got? And we're ignorant for thinking that a 16yo shouldn't be killed by gangbangers? Oh, right, he was slinging dope, so by the law of the streets he deserved to be killed. Good to see that rehabilitation took hold.
X August 08, 2012 at 06:41 PM
When I had Section 8 rentals, we could kick them out if they moved someone else in. (They weren't allowed to have anyone living there who wasn't on the lease.) I believe they were also removed from the program if they did this. For the program to work, landlords do need to be vigilant and report violations. Fortunately, because another Section 8 tenant was always available, there was no incentive to keep troublemakers. Evict them. Move on to the next tenant.
Sneaky Jimmy August 08, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Whats your point? That we just flip a coin and hope the one living next door decides to change?
Born and Raised August 08, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Amanda, I don't know when you were renting on 2nd street but it definitely is no longer Section 8 (if it ever was). The only apartment (or anything for that matter) that is Section 8 in Lafayette right now is Chateau Lafayette on Moraga Blvd. in town, one apartment and I believe it is senior housing right now. The article doesn't say how he came to be in Lafayette other than he was "relocated". That may mean he has relatives here that were giving him a room for all we know. Your description of your neighbors was very colorful and "insightful" though.
X August 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
It's a mixed bag. When I owned the restaurants I employed several folks who were on home confinement. They could only leave their house to go to work. Hence, most of them were very eager to work and work as many hours as possible. They didn't want to be confined to their house. The only glitch was that it was sometimes difficult to extend their shift (if I needed them to stay an extra hour) because some of them had to be home to receive a phone call from a computer that somehow verified they were at home. Most of these folks worked out, but a few didn't. With regards to your specific situation, I salute you for working to change your circumstances.
Eastofthehills August 08, 2012 at 06:53 PM
@Electra - I believe that minors for whom you are a guardian for are exempted from the lease by law. Secondly most leases allow for "visitors" if I remember correctly a standard lease document from the California Realtors Association which almost all small landlords use stipulates that a guest is allowed for no more than 4 consecutive nights. The big problem isn't so much that these hangers on sleep at your unit it's the problems they cause in the community from "visiting" their section 8 eligble family member. I'll put it like this: Antioch used to be nice little hick town with hick kids doing hick kid stuff in the empty fields. Now after we've moved in Section 8 people we have essentially "Little Richmond" with shootings and gangfights.
Amanda August 08, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Electra~That is great to hear. I have nothing against people who qualify for Section 8. All I am saying is that there is a lot of stuff that [used to] go down in Lafayette that 99.9% of the residents did not know about.
Amanda August 08, 2012 at 09:06 PM
ED~Yes, true. I am just reporting my experience. I happen to have a friend who is waiting to get into subsidized housing and I can't think of anyone who is more deserving of a break than she.
Amanda August 08, 2012 at 09:14 PM
john~I am only reporting my experience. I never said anything about color or about sending people away. I am the last person who would ever say something about "sending them away", whoever "they" is. I'm glad you were able to make a positive change in your life.
Amanda August 08, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Good to hear. I think that some of the people were a liability. I do know that the LPD was very aware of what was going on in many of those apartments. The walls in that place are paper-thin.
Bailey Lee August 08, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Bailey Lee August 08, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Well, ED, if u ever get back in the landlord business, I and all my landlord friends will be happy to send all Section 8 applicants to you. Everyone will be happy.
Valerie Sloven August 08, 2012 at 11:46 PM
@Bailey Lee. I'm in the landlady business and if you don't want Section 8 applicants all you have to do is say " No Section 8"....easy.
Bailey Lee August 09, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Valerie. I know I can (for now) and I do.
X August 09, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Agreed. Consistently paid rent and overall good behavior. Unless something has changed, I'd gladly take Section 8 tenants again. But, I ain't going back into the trailer park business. Once was enough for us.
John K. August 10, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Irony: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21276184/contra-costa-law-enforcement-leaders-delay-vote-richmond
Me August 13, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I'm shocked at how many people actually commented on this story & they don't have a clue what they're talking about. Unfortunately some people make mistakes as kids but most of them learn from them. This guy obviously did his time & paid for his mistakes. Why would anyone ASSume this guy is on welfare or section 8??? It's possible he has an amazing well paying job & works extremely hard. There are always 2 sides to every story & it's idiotic for anyone to comment without knowing all the facts. I expect everyone who judged & ridiculed this guy to apologize & admit they were wrong when the truth comes out about him. It's unfortunate a 16 yr old died. It's also unfortunate to judge & criticize someone without knowing all the facts...."
Danielle August 13, 2012 at 09:34 PM
I'm sure it's all a simple misunderstanding. He looks like a fine upstanding young man.
Born and Raised August 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM
@Me Unless the article is incorrect; 1) He was "relocated" here after a "domestic violence conviction last year". 2) "Matthew John Capanis was named by Richmond police Tuesday as a suspect in the shooting death of Ulises Grijalva in Richmond" 3) "Capanis has had numerous arrests for weapons violations and a succession of violent crimes in Contra Costa County." Unless any of the above is proved otherwise, these are the facts that have been given this forum. Considering the above, I don't think anyone on this forum should have to apologize to Mr. Capanis or you. It's possible that in the 10 months since he was released on his last conviction that he could work hard and start earning enough to live here but given his past it would be very doubtful. If he is convicted in the murder of Mr. Grijalva, should the forum expect YOU to apologize and admit YOU were wrong? Somehow, I don't think that will happen either. You sound earily familar to the person who defended the teenager that ran over the family on Treat Blvd though.
Eastofthehills August 13, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I'll give the guy credit he didn't $%it where he slept.
SevenMary7 August 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM
One thing I've learned over the years is that the dude can have his gang afiliation tatood on his forehead , enough teardrop tats to water a rain forest and blood still on his hands and someone will always stand up to say he's really a good boy.
Me August 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM
You have no idea where he is from, how & where he was raised & what kind of person he is. I wonder about you??? Why do you assume he isn't from Lafayette to begin with???? Know your facts before you make comments.
Me August 15, 2012 at 05:17 AM
@Born & Raised ~~ I would absolutely apologize if I have it wrong. However I'm not wrong. I was raised not be judgmental & that there is always 2 sides to every story. I happen to know a lot more about this person. And you do have most of the facts wrong. I realize you are getting your information from reporters. Like I said before he is a hard working individual who had made mistakes but has paid for them. I do not understand why people feel the need to criticize a person based on their looks alone. Matthew is actually very handsome. I have a sibling that is covered in tattoo's & appears to be a mean & unapproachable person. However she is the sweetest, kindest & probably the smartest person I've ever known. She dedicates her life to volunteering & making the world a better place to live. All I ask is for people to stop & think before they speak. It is possible there is more to this story. That's probably why there hasn't been any more updates
Born and Raised August 15, 2012 at 02:34 PM
@Me - Are saying he was never convicted of domestic violence last year? He's never had a weapons conviction? He's never commited a violent crime? He's not a suspect in a recent shooting? Which one of these is untrue? Please illuminate. You're asking people to place faith in your somehow intimate knowledge of this person and the facts of his innocence without revealing what they are.
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