One of two men convicted in the killing of a 55-year-old Irvine man--and the only member of the pair found guilty of first-degree murder--was sentenced Thursday to 51 years to life in state prison.
Joseph Robert Suess, 38, was convicted in March for the fatal stabbing of Mikel Anthony Williams, whose mother and brother had previously been murdered. Heriberto Erick Vergara Calvillo, who pleaded guilty in April to voluntary manslaughter for his role in Williams' killing, faces 22 years in prison when the 27-year-old is sentenced on June 27.
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Anaheim Police saw Williams driving a car with Suess in the passenger seat the night of Aug. 29, 2012. Then, shortly after midnight, cops got a call about a possible burglary in progress in the 800 block of North Zeyn Street, which is near Anaheim Boulevard. Officers arrived to find Williams stabbed to death in an alley, and there were no signs of a burglary.
Investigators later pinned Suess as the killer, and prosecutors convinced a jury the slaying followed an argument over Williams' refusal to take the killer somewhere he wanted to go. Calvillo showed up during the confrontation to help beat Williams, who was stabbed multiple times.
The defense was unsuccessful in its argument that Suess did not stab anyone.