UPDATE: Julian Sermano was convicted of murder today (details below . . .)
A 58-year-old San Juan Capistrano man was convicted today of stabbing another man to death in a park after arguing over who was a better singer. A jury in Santa Ana found Julian Sermano guilty of one felony count of second degree murder, one
felony count of aggravated assault, and a sentencing enhancement for the
personal use of a deadly weapon.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office sings its song after the jump . . .
June 23, 2010
MAN CONVICTED OF STABBING AND MURDERING ACQUAINTANCE IN PARK AFTER
DISPUTE OVER WHO WAS A BETTER SINGER
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of stabbing and murdering an
acquaintance in a park after an argument over who was a better singer.
Julian Sermano, 58, San Juan Capistrano, was found guilty by a jury of
one felony count of second degree murder, one felony count of aggravated
assault, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly
weapon. He faces a maximum sentence of 16 years to life in state prison
at his sentencing on Aug. 27, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-38,
Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Maurico Molina, 34, San Juan Capistrano, pleaded guilty
Sept. 4, 2009, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a
sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He was
sentenced May 21, 2010, to 11 years in state prison. Molina testified in
Sermano's jury trial.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on June 6, 2007, Sermano was in San Juan
Capistrano Park off Ortega Highway with acquaintances Molina and
Gutierrez, 39. The defendant was drinking in the park with his two
companions as the three sat singing.
Sermano became angry and got into an argument with Gutierrez, who
complained about Sermano's singing and boasted that he was a better
singer. The defendant got into a physical fight with Gutierrez, which
Molina attempted to break up. Molina began fighting with Gutierrez,
pulled out a pocket knife, and stabbed the victim twice.
While Molina and Gutierrez were fighting, Sermano took out a knife and
attempted to stab the victim, but missed and inadvertently stabbed
Molina instead. When Molina fell to the ground, Sermano again turned on
Gutierrez and repeatedly stabbed him after chasing him through the park.
Molina called 911 to receive help for his stab wound. Responding
paramedics discovered Gutierrez nearby. Gutierrez and Molina were both
transported to Mission Hospital. Gutierrez was pronounced dead minutes
after arriving at the hospital, suffering from multiple stab wounds to
his chest and stomach. Molina was hospitalized for several days for a
lacerated liver from being stabbed.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit is
prosecuting this case.