A jury today convicted an Omaha, Nebraska, father of murdering a Santa Ana man in May 2010 because of a physical altercation the victim had a month earlier with the killer's daughter.
Cesar Gerardo Marta was found guilty of second degree murder, which along with a 1993 prior strike conviction for robbery sets the 41-year-old up for a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in state prison at his Aug. 9 sentencing in Santa Ana.
Cesar “Danny” Gutierrez Hernandez, 27, had just left his home in the 2100 block of South Linda Way with his brother and a friend around 2 a.m. May 26, 2010, to give the friend a ride home. But as they were standing in the driveway Marta and an unknown accomplice walked up and asked, “Which one of you is Danny?”
An argument broke out. Marta punched Hernandez in the face, knocking him to the ground. While the accomplice held out a knife to hold off the brother and the friend, Marta continued to hit and punch Hernandez. The accomplice would stab Hernandez several times with the knife.
The commotion caused people inside the residence to go outside as Marta and the other attacker fled. Hernandez was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
The Santa Ana police investigation determined Marta had been visiting relatives in California at the time of the attack. Detectives made contact with him in federal custody for immigration violations in Iowa. He was extradited to Orange County in March 2011.
By the way, investigators are still looking for that accomplice who helped kill Hernandez. Anyone with additional information about the person's identity and/or whereabouts is asked to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at 714.347.8492.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.