Jose Fuentes Guilty of Murder in Beating Death of Much Older Gay Lover with Decorative Rock

A 23-year-old Santa Ana man was convicted today of murdering a male lover who was more than twice his age by beating him with a ceramic rock.

Jose Fuentes now faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without parole at a scheduled Friday hearing.

Fuentes went to the guesthouse of Pedro Cerecer in the 1300 block of South Joane Way, Santa Ana, in June 2010 to share drinks and have sex with the 47-year-old man he'd known about a month. Once Cerecer fell asleep, Fuentes picked up a decorative rock, straddled Cerecer as he slept and bashed him to death. The younger man stole his lover's credit cards, cell phone and electronic equipment, including his flat screen TV, which was loaded into Cerecer's Toyota sedan that Fuentes drove off in.

Pedro Cerecer, 2010 OC Homicide No. 25: His Lover Confessed to the Killing, Say Police

The next morning, Fuentes was pulled over in the sedan by Garden Grove Police and arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and driving without a valid license. Santa Ana Police officers summoned to Cerecer's guesthouse discovered "a bloody scene," as well as the fact the dead man's car was among the missing possessions, Cops ran the plates, which led to the police impound lot and, eventually, Fuentes' Orange County Jail cell. Police said at the time Fuentes confessed to killing Cerecer alone, just so he could rob his lover, who worked for a maintenance company and made money on the side as a soccer referee.

The jury deliberated about an hour today before finding the future California correctional institution prom date guilty of first-degree murder and finding true special circumstances of murder by lying in wait, in the commission of a robbery and in the commission of a burglary.

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