A Santa Ana man with a history of crime and a restraining taken out by his mother for the violence directed at her received the maximum sentence today for the second degree murder of her house guest, who was stabbed in the chest with a pocket knife.
Saul Jose Salazar, 29, was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison.
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Salazar and Leopaldo Antonio Verdugo Cabrera, 33, argued late the night of Oct. 3, 2010, because the son did not like the fact Cabrera was living in the mother's Santa Ana apartment. Cabrera was stabbed several times in the upper body that night before stumbling into someone else's apartment, asking for help and collapsing. He was rushed to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he died. Salazar was also treated at a hospital for cuts he sustained to his hands before being jailed for Cabrera's murder.
Salazar's mother twice phoned cops--two days before the attack and earlier the same day--concerning domestic disputes involving her son at her apartment on Fairview between Edinger and Warner avenues. Saul Salazar was already well known to law enforcement, having twice violated restraining orders obtained by his mother and been imprisoned for felony drug possession and misdemeanor burglary and possession of burglary tools. He'd also previously been jailed for separate incidents of: DUI; misdemeanor battery; misdemeanor battery and injury to telephone lines; and felony accessory after the fact.
Besides second-degree murder, the jury in Santa Ana found true a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a deadly weapon.