A judge today sentenced Jorge Alejandro Lopez, 35, a semi-transient resident of Santa Ana, to 16 years to life
in state prison for murdering a man at a homeless encampment by beating him with his fists,
stomping on his head and slamming a 16-pound concrete boulder on his chest.
Marco Rojo Nieto, 36, who died at the scene of the July 17, 2010, murder, left behind a wife and teenage daughter.
Lopez, a transient who sometimes lived with relatives, walked up to Nieto around 11:30 that morning and, without provocation, punched
the 36-year-old in the face, knocking him to the ground. Lopez then kicked and stomped on the defenseless Nieto's head. The killshot came when Lopez picked up a 16-pound concrete boulder and slammed it into Nieto's chest. He died a short time later.
A jury this past March 12 convicted Lopez on one felony count of second degree murder with a true finding on the sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He then faced a maximum sentence of 26 years to life.