[UPDATED with Conviction:] Saul Jose Salazar Guilty of Fatally Stabbing Mom's Tenant
See the update at the end of this post on Salazar being convicted.
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 8, 10:32 A.M.: A man with a history of crime and a restraining taken out by his mother for the violence directed at her is scheduled to stand trial today for murdering her house guest.
Saul Jose Salazar, 29, of Santa Ana, could get up to 16 years to life in state prison if he is convicted of murdering 33-year-old Leopoldo Antonio Verdugo Cabrera, who died after a knife was plunged into his chest in October 2010.
Leopoldo Antonio Verdugo Cabrera, 2010 OC Homicide No. 48: Landlady's Son With Long Rap Sheet is Alleged Killer
[UPDATED with Delay:] Saul Jose Salazar Faces Murder Trial for Stabbing of Mom's Tenant
Julian Sermano Gets 16 Years in Prison for Stabbing Murder of Critic of His Singing
Salazar and Cabrera argued late the night of Oct. 3, 2010, because Salazar did not like the fact Cabrera was living in Salazar's 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.
Santa Ana Police logs show 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.
In this case you better not call Saul: Salazar was already well known to law enforcement by that night, 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.
Salazar is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. His trial in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana was originally scheduled to begin in August, but his defense won a delay, the Orange County District Attorney's office explained at the time.
UPDATE, NOV. 26, 3:30 P.M.: A Santa Ana jury today convicted Saul Jose Salazar of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
He faces up to 16 years to life in state prison at his scheduled Feb. 15 sentencing hearing, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.