In October 1988 Leroy Stracner was found shot to death inside his Barstow residence. Leroy’s live in girlfriend and Leroy’s neighbors David Loustaunau and another individual reported Leroy’s death to the Barstow Sheriff’s Department. During the crime scene investigation detectives located a pool of blood in the hallway and what appeared to be bloody drag marks from the pool of blood to where Leroy lay. Leroy had been covered with a towel and there was a strip of duct tape that covered his mouth and nose. Leroy sustained two gunshot wounds both of which exited the body.
Detectives located a shop vacuum that was used to clean up the crime scene and a Del Taco receipt dated October 19,1988 at 4:25 p.m. David was interviewed and claimed that he shot Leroy in the hallway after disarming him while acting in self-defense. Leroy's girlfriend was interviewed and claimed that she was in the shower when she heard Leroy return home from Del Taco. She said she heard Leroy threaten to kill David and then she heard two gunshots.
At the conclusion of the investigation David was arrested on murder charges. Upon the initial review, the District Attorney refused to file charges against David, citing he had acted in self defense.
In early 2008, Cold Case Homicide Detectives Greg Myler and Robert Alexander re-examined the case after receiving a telephone call. Myler and Alexander reviewed all the interviews, evidence, crime scene drawings and crime scene photographs. Upon doing so, Myler and Alexander determined that the shooting in the hallway could not have occurred how David described it, due to the lack of evidence (blood and bullet strikes).
Myler and Alexander re-interviewed Leroy's girlfriend who was now living in Tennessee. After a lengthy interview, she admitted David and her were having an affair at the time of the homicide. She said the night of the homicide David armed himself with Leroy’s .357 and threatened to kill Leroy when he returned home from Del Taco. When Leroy arrived home, David fatally shot him. Leroy's girlfriend said she lied in 1988 because she loved David.
In November 2008, David was arrested in Arizona and charged with murder by Deputy District Attorney John Thomas. A year later, David was found guilty of 2nd degree murder by a jury.