A 23-year-old Garden Grove man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the stabbing death last April of a woman he had known since high school.
Cameron Seaholm is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 6 for the murder of Denise Duerr, 21, also of Garden Grove. Duerr's body was found April 19 on a hillside near Corona. She had been repeatedly stabbed with an ice pick-like tool.
Seaholm faces a sentence of between 25 years and life in prison under terms of the guilty plea entered Monday in Riverside County Municipal Court. Prosecutors said he will be eligible for parole in 16 years.
Daniel C. Lough, deputy district attorney for Riverside County, said Seaholm decided to plead guilty after he was told that prosecutors might also charge him with rape. Adding a rape charge would have made Seaholm eligible for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, Lough said.
"It was a situation where there was that possibility and it's not a possibility he was interested in waiting to find out," Lough said. "He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder because that's what he's guilty of."
Seaholm was arrested on suspicion of the slaying along with Duerr's boyfriend, Clyde Spontak, shortly after her body was discovered April 19.
Charges against Spontak were dropped Aug. 30, however, when investigators verified that he had been selling cocaine at the time of the killing.
Lough said Spontak had originally given investigators several false statements about his whereabouts at the time of the death, causing them to suspect that he was involved.
Seaholm was arrested at his stepfather's house at Lake Elsinore. Duerr's car was at the home when he was arrested.
Seaholm, Spontak and Duerr were all high school friends from Garden Grove. Lough said they were also sharing an apartment before the murder.