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.
Saul Jose Salazar Guilty of Fatally Stabbing Mom's Tenant
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.