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O.C. man guilty of bludgeoning boyfriend, stealing valuables

March 20, 2013 |  7:11 pm

Photo: Jose Fuentes. Credit: Santa Ana Police DepartmentAn Orange County man was convicted Wednesday of beating his boyfriend to death with a rock, then stealing his car, money and other valuables.

Jose Fuentes, 23, was found guilty by a jury on one felony count of murder, as well as one felony count each of first-degree robbery and first-degree residential burglary, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors said Fuentes, a Santa Ana resident, faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. His sentencing is scheduled for Friday.

Prosecutors said that in June 2010, Fuentes had been in a relationship with Pedro Cerecer for about a month, and that by June 5, Fuentes had plotted for several days to kill Cerecer and steal his property. On that day, prosecutors said, Fuentes went to Cerecer's Santa Ana apartment and waited for Cerecer to fall asleep.

Prosecutors said that Fuentes beat Cerecer with a decorative rock, killing him. He took Cerecer's credit cards, cellphone and household electronics, including a flat-screen television. He loaded it into Cerecer's Toyota sedan and fled.

On June 6, Fuentes was stopped by Garden Grove police and arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and driving without a valid license, prosecutors said. Santa Ana police were able to link Fuentes to the killing after the car was impounded.

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-- Rick Rojas in Orange County

Photo: Jose Fuentes. Credit: Santa Ana Police Department

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