Man indicted in shooting death

LAWRENCEVILLE - A man who authorities say was caught trying to flee Gwinnett County for Mexico after shooting another man was indicted here this week on charges stemming from the alleged killing.

Juan Manuel Cruz-Arriaga, 22, of Mableton, faces charges of murder, felony murder and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, according to an indictment released Wednesday.

Police believe Cruz-Arriaga shot a 21-year-old Lilburn man to death because both men were interested in the same woman.

Early on the morning of Sept. 9, Gwinnett police discovered Javier Beltran's body in a roadway in front of Ridgewood Place, his red Honda Civic about 20 feet behind him.

At the time, police said Beltran, of Lilburn, was shot several times as he was leaving a friend's home.

Police believe Cruz-Arriaga was competing to date Beltran's girlfriend.

Authorities located Cruz-Arriaga in Mississippi on the same day Beltran's body was found. Police said he was driving through the state in an attempt to flee Georgia for Mexico.

Cruz-Arriaga was extradited and booked at the Gwinnett County Jail on Sept. 11, where he remains without bond. His arraignment is expected within a month.

If convicted, Cruz-Arriaga could face life in prison or the death penalty.