A day laborer was sentenced today to 26 years to life in state prison for murdering his boss by repeatedly hitting the landscaper in the back of the head with a shovel and pickax as shocked co-workers and police looked on.
The case was previously blogged about here.
A jury in March found Ernesto Hernandez Avalos, 28, of Santa Ana, guilty of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
He had worked with landscaper Woo Sung Park, 45, a few times before
the morning of Jan. 29, 2007, when they were working in the back yard of a
residence on Woods Trail in Irvine.
Around 11:30 a.m., Park turned
his back after complaining about Avalos' work. The laborer's response to the critique was to hit his boss in the back of
the head with a shovel, knocking Park to the ground.
As another worker who saw the attack ran to find someone
to call 9-1-1.
Avalos then hit Park six or seven more times with the shovel.
When police arrived, officers ordered Avalos to drop the shovel, which he did.
Then, in front of
the officers, Avalos grabbed a pickax
and hit Park again with the butt of it.
Cops had to use
“non-lethal force” to subdue the laborer, which could explain the disgusting thing on his face in the booking photo.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief 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 alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.