NC woman was dating Carrboro man before shooting. She’s now charged with his murder.


Carrboro police have charged a woman with murder after a late-night shooting that killed her boyfriend on May 29 at the Estes Park Apartments.

Karla Maria Machuca, 28, of Burlington, is charged with first-degree murder, felony conspiracy and felony attempted kidnapping in the killing of Juan Maldonado Espinoza, 41, who lived in Carrboro, police said in a news release.

Espinoza was shot around 11:40 p.m. outside Building C in the apartment complex parking lot at 306 Estes Drive Extension.

Neighbors tried to help Espinoza, according to 911 calls obtained by The News & Observer, but he was dead by the time police arrived.

One witness told the 911 operator they had seen a silver car with two or three people inside drive away from the complex after the shooting. At least two callers said they heard five or six gunshots but did not see what happened.

Machuca was arrested in Los Angeles on June 12 and is being extradited back to North Carolina to face the charges, police said.

Court records show Carrboro police also charged Machuca on May 13 with a misdemeanor domestic violence crime against Mendoza.

The arrest warrant notes that Machuca was dating Mendoza and is alleged to have used physical force against him. She was released on a written promise to appear and ordered to appear in court June 13, but did not show up. That case has been continued.

It was the second shooting with an injury, fatal or non-fatal, in Carrboro this year, according to police. There were no shootings with injuries in the town last year.

The investigation is continuing, and police ask anyone with information to call Carrboro Police Investigator R. Trombley at 919-918-7415, or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. Crime Stoppers lets tipsters remain anonymous if they wish.



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