[UPDATED:] Cesar "Danny" Gutierrez Hernandez, OC Homicide No. 21: Stabbed in Front Yard
There is new information throughout. That Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) statement is at the end of this post.
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Cesar "Danny" Gutierrez Hernandez had just left his Santa Ana home in the 2100 block of South Linda Way, Santa Ana, with his brother and a friend around 2 a.m. May 26. Hernandez was going to give the friend a ride home, but as they were standing in the driveway two men walked up.
"Which one of you is Danny?" one asked.
An argument broke out. The first man figured out which of the three was 27-year-old Hernandez and punched Hernandez while the brother and friend were kept at bay by the second man, who was swinging a knife.
As the first man was hitting and kicking Hernandez, the second man stabbed Hernandez several times with the knife.
The commotion caused people inside the residence to go outside as the pair fled. Hernandez was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
A Santa Ana Police investigation led to the arrest of Cesar Gerardo Marta, 39, of Omaha, Nebraska. A month before Hernandez was killed, he apparently had a physical altercation with Marta's daughter. Prosecutors are calling Hernandez's slaying retaliation.
Marta is currently being held without bail in Iowa on a federal immigration case. He is expected to eventually be extradited to Orange County, where he faces one felony count of murder. He also has a 1993 prior strike conviction for robbery.
If convicted, faces up to 55 years to life in state prison.
The OCDA statement:
October 26, 2010
FATHER CHARGED WITH MURDERING MAN IN RETALIATION FOR PHYSICAL ALTERCATION BETWEEN DAUGHTER AND VICTIM
*Defendant is currently in custody in Iowa on a federal immigration case
SANTA ANA - A father has been charged with the murder of a Santa Ana man after becoming angry over a physical altercation that occurred one month prior between his daughter and the victim. Cesar Gerardo Marta, 39, Omaha, NE, is charged with one felony count of murder and has a 1993 prior strike conviction for robbery. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 55 years to life in state prison. Marta will be held on $1 million bail upon his extradition to California. He is currently being held without bail at the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Jail in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on a federal immigration case. Upon completion of that case, Marta will face extradition proceedings for the Orange County murder.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on May 26, 2010, 27-year-old Cesar "Danny" Gutierrez Hernandez left his Santa Ana home with his brother and a friend to give the friend a ride home. As the three men walked toward their car, Marta and an unknown accomplice are accused of approaching the group and asking if one of them was Danny. The defendant is accused of seeking out Hernandez with the intention of retaliating against him for a physical altercation the victim had with Marta's daughter one month earlier.
Upon identifying Hernandez as the man he was looking for, Marta is accused of punching the victim in the face and knocking him to the ground. Marta is accused of continuing to assault Hernandez while his unknown accomplice used a knife to hold the other two victims at bay. The unknown accomplice is accused of then stabbing Hernandez while Marta hit and kicked him.
Members of Hernandez's family went out of the house upon hearing the commotion, prompting Marta and his accomplice to flee the scene. Witnesses called 911 and officers from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) arrived at the scene. Hernandez was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
SAPD investigated this case and determined that Marta was a resident of Nebraska who was in California visiting family on May 26, 2010. At the time that Marta was identified in this case, he was already in custody in Iowa on a federal immigration case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.