Latino serial killer who killed 7 people sentenced to life in prison in Los Angeles
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
A man pleaded guilty Friday to a crime spree in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. which left five dead and seven injured, in addition to the murders of his aunt and uncle in Texas.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Hanasono immediately sentenced Ramón Alberto Escobar, now 50, to two life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 124 years to life for crimes committed in Los Angeles County.
During a subsequent video conference in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom, Escobar pleaded guilty to the August 2018 murders of his aunt, Dina Escobar, and uncle, Rogelio Escobar, in Texas, in a plea deal that spared him a possible death sentence in that state.
He was also sentenced to life in prison for those two murders and will serve his sentence in a California prison.
The Los Angeles County murder charges involved:
– A September 10, 2018 attack in Santa Monica on Juan Antonio Ramírez, 51, who died of his injuries in January 2021.
– The September 16, 2018 murders of Branden Ridout, 24, and Kelvin Williams, 59, in downtown Los Angeles.
– The September 20, 2018 murder of Steven Cruze, 39, of San Gabriel, under the Santa Monica Pier.
– On September 24, 2018, the murder of Jorge Martínez, 63, in Santa Monica.
escobar, who had already indicated in November 2018 that he wanted to resolve his case without going to trial, admitted to special circumstances allegations of multiple murders and the murder of Cruze during a robberyin addition to pleading guilty to attempted murder involving seven other victims.
“Guilty,” the defendant said over and over again when asked by Judge Hanasono how he pleaded to each of the charges.
Blood trail from Texas to California
Authorities said Escobar drove to California after being questioned by Texas authorities about the disappearance of his aunt and uncle, who were siblings.
Los Angeles police obtained surveillance video in downtown Los Angeles showing Escobar hitting a man with a baseball bat the same day Ridout and Williams were killed and then going through his pockets, according to a sentencing memorandum filed. by Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys Victor Avila and Hilary Williams.
The defendant wore distinctive clothing and had a “very distinctive bow-legged walk,” and Los Angeles police released video stills showing Escobar, asking for the public’s help in finding him, according to prosecutors.
Shortly after Martinez was hit in the head with what appeared to be bolt cutters, a Santa Monica police officer recognized him as the man involved in the downtown Los Angeles slayings and took him into custody, according to the sentencing memorandum. of the prosecution.
Detectives later searched Escobar’s truck and seized a wooden baseball bat believed to have been used in the two murders in downtown Los Angeles, and Santa Monica police found a pair of bolt cutters believed to have been used in the murders. that were used in one of the attacks, authorities said.
Some of the attacks were against the homeless, but Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Billy Hayes said in 2018 that the attacks did not appear to be based on any hatred of the homeless.
“I think it was a crime of opportunity. The motive in most of these cases appears to have been robbery.”
It may interest you:
– Serial killer identified by Denver police 40 years after the murder of five women
– The FBI arrested a “suspected serial killer” responsible for deaths in Missouri and Kansas
– Keith Gibson: Suspected serial killer was charged with 41 felonies in Delaware after a brutal crime spree