SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A woman who pretended she was selling fruit door-to-door to gain access to a Santa Ana man’s house, was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life for the victim’s robbery and murder.
Authorities said Gladys Romero. now 36, posed as a door-to-door fruit salesman on June 5, 2000 and gained access to Juan Gomez’ house by asking for a glass of water.
Once inside, Romero opened the door for her younger brother, Alejandro Romero.
Both of the Romeros were armed with firearms. She was found guilty in May 2013 of one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery and burglary with an additional sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death.
Alejandro Romero, now 34, pleaded guilty to one felony count of murder on December 12, 2013 and is expected to be sentenced to 25 years to life when he’s sentenced on January 31.
Prosecutors said the Romeros tied up the victim and his family in the living room of their home. Gomez was able to break free. He struggled with Alejandro and while on his knees, Gomez was fatally shot by Gladys.
The brother and sister stole a purse and fled the scene. Gladys Romero accidentally left her own purse at the Gomez home. While her purse did not contain her name or photo identification, it did have DNA evidence that ultimately linked her to the crime scene.
The case remained unsolved for ten years.
Officials said DNA taken from Gladys for a misdemeanor in 2010 led them to her as a suspect in the murder.