SANTA ANA (AP) — An Orange County judge has sentenced a man to 16 years to life in prison for a homeless encampment murder in which the victim was beaten, stomped on and smashed with a boulder.
The district attorney’s office said that Friday’s sentencing followed the March 12 conviction of 35-year-old Jorge Alejandro Lopez on one count of second-degree murder with an enhancement for personal use of a deadly weapon.
Prosecutors say that on July 17, 2010, Lopez walked into the encampment in Santa Ana and without provocation punched 36-year-old victim Marco Rojo Nieto in the face.
Authorities say Nieto fell to the ground and Lopez kicked and stomped on his head, then picked up a 16-pound concrete boulder and slammed it into Nieto’s chest.
Lopez was semi-transient, occasionally living with relatives.