Murders A-Z is a collection of true crime stories that take an in-depth look at both little-known and famous murders throughout history.
Born in 1988, Vegas Bray grew up in San Diego without ever knowing her father. Despite having a troubled home life, she did well in high school. Vegas had striking good looks, earned solid grades, had a ton of friends, and was considered to be a “good girl” who never cursed. So none of Vegas’ classmates would have imagined that she would eventually stalk a future ex-boyfriend and riddle his body with bullets a day after they’d hooked up and had sex.
When Vegas graduated high school, she joined the military and worked at a Navy machine shop, where she met Victor Saucedo, who worked on a Destroyer ship. “He was a damage control man," a friend of Victor's told "Snapped." "So basically, if something were broke or there was a fire or say a ship got hit by a missile or anything like that, he was basically the first responder on board the ship.”
He also lived in a bachelor pad with some Navy friends and had a steady stream of female companions. “Victor dated a lot of people, it’s hard for somebody to keep his attention for too long,” a friend said.
Victor left the Navy in 2012, partially to spend more time with his 4-year-old son, who he had with a former girlfriend. While the mother of his son had found out she was pregnant shortly after they’d broken up, Victor wanted to be in his son’s life. He even began taking classes at a local college so that he could better provide for his son.
Vegas had also fallen out of love with the Navy life, and became a civilian after applying for and receiving an early discharge. But she hadn’t developed too many professional skills outside of the military.
Being beautiful and voluptuous, she took a job as a strip club cocktail waitress.
Vegas and Victor, who had known each other from the base, began hanging out more and had become a couple by March, 2011. Their friends approved of the romance.
“The thing that attracted him to her was… Victor had like a sarcastic kind of humor, she had that same kind of sarcastic humor,” said Victor’s friend.
A friend of Vegas added: “You know they were always together so I’m like okay this guy could be the one for her.”
But on October 16, 2012, Vegas found Victor dead in the hallway outside of his bathroom. He was covered in blood on the floor of the hallway of his apartment. Vegas called 911, saying he was shot and told the 911 operator “Miss, I don’t know. I’m not sure what happened.” She told authorities there was a gun on the ground beside him.
A police officer told "Snapped" that Vegas had said “he had shot himself, that it was a suicide.”
But when police and EMT responded, they noticed something odd.
[Oxygen's podcast Martinis & Murder covers the Vegas Bray case.]
Victor had more than one gunshot wound—his body was actually riddled. In fact, he’d been shot in the head, the chest, and even the hand. The DA said the hand wound was “consistent with him holding up his hand, you know, kind of in a defensive way to avoid being shot.”
Local witnesses heard possibly 10 shots, five or six in rapid succession, then a break followed by four more. The revolver only held six shots, so someone had most likely reloaded. A box of ammo was left there and it was especially deadly. The DA explained: “They used hollow-point ammunition which causes more damage to the human body than a standard type of ammunition would.”
As the only one on the scene, Vegas was taken down to the station to give her statement. The interrogation began simply, with Vegas explaining how she met Victor in the Navy and how they were just friends for years. She said they finally got together and their relationship was going well until Victor unexpectedly broke up with her.
“He deleted me as, as a friend, like, he unfriended me on Facebook and he didn't even, none of this was in person or anything, he just stopped,” said Vegas during the interrogation. “Yeah, it was like over the phone and then through Facebook and then I drove over there to see him, 'cause I was like, ‘What the hell?’”
Even though the breakup left a bad taste in Vegas’ mouth, the two continued to hook up periodically for the following 10 months. Though Vegas was hoping for more, Victor finally said he didn’t want a relationship. Vegas felt used.
In March of 2012, a year after Victor and Vegas had officially become a couple, Vegas went over to his home, egged his car and slashed his tires. “I punctured some of his tires, I punctured two, or then, I think in March I punctured one and then I punctured another, and then I did two,” she admitted to authorities.
Victor attempted to cool things off and become friends. Vegas said the week prior to Victor being shot he offered to co-sign a lease on a new apartment. Vegas dropped by the apartment to talk about his offer and they began drinking together… and kept drinking. The two slept together that night.
The interrogation revealed Vegas’ feelings.
Detective: You still had feelings for him.
Detective: Just weren’t ready to let go of that guy were you?
Vegas: I wanted to but it’s hard.
In the morning Vegas had wanted to go out to breakfast with Victor. Vegas told police that Victor had said no, and she had responded: “You’re gonna fuck me but you don’t want to eat with me.”
Vegas explained that she went back to Victor’s place around 3:30pm, but when interrogators asked her what had happened when she got there, she responded: “I don’t know what happened.”
She said she blacked out and when she came back she saw Victor on the floor. Her ears were ringing. She then mentioned to investigators that she had been blacking out since she was young. The DA explained: “She had a troubled childhood and events that took place in her life traumatized her and led to mental health issues.”
Vegas she’d been sexually abused for as long as she could remember. A psychiatrist had diagnosed her with depression and she was on disability for PTSD.
When police interviewed friends, they heard that Vegas relationship with Victor was rocky and unstable. Vegas’ primary trigger was jealousy, and she hated her boyfriend talking to his son’s mother. A friend of Victor’s recounted a terrifying incident to “Snapped:” “He told me that he woke up one time in the morning - oh she had stayed the night, and she was sitting on his chest with a gun in his face.”
Victor was scared.
Victor’s friend said that he’d told him that he was “trying to leave this girl and she won’t let me.“ The Mirror reported that Vegas begged him to take her back, but when he refused “her pleading turned to desperation – and rage.” CBS News reported that Vegas smeared peanut butter on his front door.
But Victor’s concern that he was being stalked, didn’t lead to police action. There was no proof that Vegas had been physically aggressive or that she’d threatened him. It also didn’t help that Victor was a 6’1” man and Vegas was a 5’2” girl.
NBC San Diego reported that “According to the sheriff’s department, [Victor] reported vandalism multiple times. The calls were investigated, but no one was arrested and authorities did not identify a suspect.”
Victor finally caught Vegas in the act when she threw a bottle through his window… but he ultimately decided not to press charges.
He moved apartments, borrowed cars, and changed his habits, all in order to avoid her.
Yet Vegas reportedly said to Victor, “If I can’t have you, nobody will.”
On April 24, 2013. Vegas Bray, who was 25 at the time, was charged with the murder of her 31-year-old ex boyfriend. When a witness was testifying to how jealous Vegas could be, Vegas cracked. A reporter told “Snapped:” “She was screaming, “I’m not jealous. I was never jealous.” She also screamed: “I’m not going down for something I don’t remember doing!"
The judge had to ask for assistance and Vegas was escorted out of the building and the judge granted a psych evaluation. A San Diego police officer told "Snapped:" “She was determined to be not fit for trial at that time.”
Finally in October 15, 2015, Vegas was able to stand trial. It had taken three years of work but the court was satisfied that she could stand trial.
The media was in a frenzy: an attractive cocktail waitress at a strip club becomes a jealous stalker and murders her ex boyfriend.
The prosecution argued that Vegas was dangerous and had been a stalker for months after Victor broke up with her with the DA saying that Vegas was “slashing the tires on his car. Putting paint on his front door.”
According to NBC San Diego, Victor’s former fiance said: “She wouldn’t leave him alone. They broke up. She couldn’t get over it.”
Victor’s former fiance also recalled “damage from eggs, paint, vinegar and jelly jars thrown at Saucedo's home. She blamed Bray for those incidents,” according to NBC San Diego
The prosecution claimed she eventually realized she couldn’t get him back. In response, she shot him nine times.
The defense didn’t deny that she shot him. They reminded the jury she claimed she didn’t remember the event and that she was the one who called 911. She also didn’t run from the scene.
The DA explained: “In the state of California if somebody is not legally conscious at the time of the act, they cannot be held criminally liable.
The defense told the jury Vegas had create an alter ego due to abuse as a child. When detectives had interrogated Vegas, she said: “It’s a comic book character I came up with, like back in middle school, I called her ‘Baby Bray.’”
She continued: “She handles a lot for me, cause, like I just… I give it to her.”
When asked by the detective if she was referring to a second personality, Vegas responded: “I’m just thinking it’s another part of me that did it, that it had to be… it… like it had to be her, she did it.”
The defense wanted the jury to believe Vegas was mentally ill at the time of the murder.
Unfortunately for Vegas, she had been spending a lot of time writing notes on her laptop that had become evidence. Her notes spoke of how much she hated Victor. She had even written a bucket list that included an item to find Victor Saucedo and kill him. The last item on her list was to kill herself.
Two months prior to the murder she purchased a revolver, but tried to get him back one last time. Her drunken sex with Victor the night before the murder may have helped her ego, but his refusal to have breakfast with her the following morning was the last straw.
Vegas went home, got the gun, shot Victor six times, reloaded, and kept shooting.
The prosecutors called a new witness, Vegas’ half brother to explain the rest of the events. Her half brother testified that before Vegas called 911 she had called him to say goodbye, and he was able to talk her out of killing herself.
According to NBC San Diego, the jury found Vegas guilty of first-degree murder.
NBC San Diego says that Victor’s “9-year-old son sat outside the courtroom with a relative, while other family members packed the two rows of courtroom seats.”
A district attorney told “Snapped,” “Under California law for first-degree murder, the penalty is 25 years to life, and there's an additional consecutive term of 25 years to life if a firearm is used.”
The defense tried one more time to plea for leniency in Vegas’ mental condition and childhood abuse, but she was sentenced to 50 years. Vegas Bray is eligible for parole at the age of 78—in 2066.
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