Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Man Bashed In Lover's Skull So He Could Steal His Electronics, Car, and Money

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

It took just 90 minutes of deliberation for the jury to return a guilty verdict in the case of a 23-year-old Santa Ana man accused of fatally bashing in the skull of his 47-year-old lover in order to get his hands on his electronics and other valuables.Jose Fuentes had been in a "purely sexual relationship" for a few weeks with the victim, Pedro Cerecer, when he came up with a plan to kill him and steal his 40-inch flat-screen TV, DVD player, car stereo, checkbook, credit cards, and cash, Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray said, according to City News Service.

The murder weapon allegedly was a "decorative rock bearing religious symbols," which Fuentes slammed repeatedly into Cerecer's head at least four times. After the murder, Fuentes took a shower and put a pillow, blanket and shower curtain over the body, then loaded up his lover's car with Cerecer's belongings and took off to check into a motel.

Fuentes was arrested on June 6, 2010, for blocking traffic in Cerecer's car. Cerecer's body was found the next day, and Fuentes' DNA was found under the victim's fingernails and on a cigarette butt left inside Cerecer's home.

The suspect concocted a tale about a gang member forcing Fuentes to hold Cerecer down while he killed him over Fuentes' unpaid drug debt, and that he had stolen the money to pay the debt. Fuentes ultimately admitted that was not what had happened.

Support for LAist comes from

Cerecer, who lived in a guest house, was not wealthy, but did have the means to purchase items Fuentes coveted. Murray described the killing as a crime centered on money and greed, pointing to Fuentes' own lack of money as motive.

Fuentes was convicted today of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and burglary, with special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and murder in the commission of a robbery and burglary.

Sentencing is slated for Friday; Fuentes faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.