SANTA ANA ( — A 29-year-old man was sentenced to 16 years to life Friday for the stabbing murder of his mother’s alleged lover.

Saul Jose Salazar was convicted in November for the Oct. 3, 2010 fatal stabbing of Antonio Verdugo-Cabrera.

Salazar killed Verdugo-Cabrera, then 33, about a month after Salazar was released from jail for assaulting his mother.

He moved in with his mother in late September 2010. Prosecutor Susan Price said within days the mom was calling police asking them to help her kick him out.

Investigators said Salazar knew the victim for 17 years. During the trial, investigators also said his mother was romantically involved with the victim who also lived in the home.

At trial, Salazar’s mother testified she and the victim were just good friends.

During sentencing, Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue said, “Mr. Salazar is a very dangerous and unpredictable man.”

The victim and Verdugo-Cabrera’s mother were having a barbecue at the home on the night of the murder, Price said. Verdugo-Cabrera and Salazar got into an argument that quickly esclated, she said.

Salazar’s attorney, Chris McGibbons of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, had argued at trial that Salazar acted in self-defense.

Verdugo-Cabrera reportedly had methamphetamine and alcohol in his system, but the drugs were not a factor in the killing, Price said.

Members of Salazar’s family and friends were in court Friday offering support.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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