SEATTLE – A man told investigators he didn't remember shooting and killing his wife inside an Uber employee's car, saying he had been drinking and "not having a good night" with her before the gunfire rang out, authorities said.
Cameron Espitia, 31, who worked for the U.S. Coast Guard, was being held on $3 million bail in the death of Jennifer Espitia, 29. Defense attorney Kristen Gestaut had asked for lower bail Monday, citing Espitia's lack of criminal history and ties to the agency, The Seattle Times reported.
The Uber driver told police that Jennifer Espitia was sitting in the front seat and Cameron Espitia was in the back when they began arguing shortly after midnight Sunday, according to probable cause documents.
The driver for the ride-hailing service said Cameron Espitia cursed repeatedly at his wife before he heard a boom. He thought a tire had burst but saw Jennifer Espitia's head slumped forward and realized she had been shot, documents said.
Fearing for his life, he kept driving as ordered, police said. Eventually, Cameron Espitia told the driver to pull over. After he got out, the driver called police.
Espitia was arrested nearby. Officers found a small pistol in an ankle holster, and he told them he had been drinking, authorities said.
"When asked how he was, Cameron said he was not having a good night with his wife," according to court documents.
Espitia told police he didn't remember what happened, that he woke up in the bushes and didn't know where he was, documents said. He later said he had a faint recollection of being in the vehicle.
Jennifer Espitia was shot in the head and died at a Seattle hospital.
Coast Guardsman Elliot Felix told a judge that he had known Cameron Espitia for five years and did not believe he was capable of killing his wife.
"I would not in a million years think he would do something like this," Felix said.
Jennifer Espitia graduated from Mercer Island High School in Washington state and was on the rowing team at Saint Mary's College in California, according to a college athletics biography.
She had won a community-service award for work as a peer educator at Planned Parenthood, working at a day care center and building homes in Mexico.
Cameron Espitia is expected in court again Thursday.