Man pleads not guilty to murder in death of off-duty Calif. fire capt.

Stephen Scarpa remains in custody with bail set at $2 million in the death of Costa Mesa fire Capt. Mike Kreza


By Julia Sclafani
Daily Pilot

SANTA ANA, Calif. — The man charged in the death of Costa Mesa fire Capt. Mike Kreza pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of murder.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, of Mission Viejo entered the plea in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana and remains in custody with bail set at $2 million, according to Scarpa’s lawyer, Rudy Loewenstein.

Costa Mesa fire Capt. Mike Kreza was killed after being hit by a van while riding his bike. (Photo/GoFundMe)
Costa Mesa fire Capt. Mike Kreza was killed after being hit by a van while riding his bike. (Photo/GoFundMe)

Scarpa was charged Nov. 6 in the death of Kreza, 44, of Rancho Santa Margarita, who was hit by a van while riding his bicycle off duty in Mission Viejo on Nov. 3.

Kreza died from his injuries Nov. 5. Firefighters said he had been training to compete in a triathlon in Arizona.

Stephen Scarpa was charged Nov. 6 in the death of fire Capt. Mike Kreza. (Photo/Orange County district attorney's office)
Stephen Scarpa was charged Nov. 6 in the death of fire Capt. Mike Kreza. (Photo/Orange County district attorney's office)

Scarpa was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said after the crash.

Authorities allege Scarpa was in possession of pills prescribed by a Tustin doctor who was arrested Dec. 18 and faces federal charges of illegally distributing opioids and other narcotics by writing prescriptions to people without medical examinations.

Scarpa is scheduled to return to court Feb. 11.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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