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Ex-O.C. Man Guilty of 2nd-Degree Murder in '90 Bus Stop Killing

October 06, 1998|DANIEL YI

After less than two days of deliberations, a jury Monday found a former Costa Mesa resident guilty of second-degree murder in an 8-year-old slaying.

"I am heartbroken," said defense attorney Sherry Garrels, who had argued during the weeklong trial in Superior Court in Santa Ana that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence in the case against her client, Kent Anguiano.

According to authorities, Anguiano, 38, killed Luis Lopez, 25, because he was trying to impress his friends. He had spotted Lopez at a Costa Mesa bar and was accused of attacking the man at a bus stop.

But Garrels argued at trial that the Costa Mesa Police Department pointed the finger at Anguiano because they wanted to close the books on the January 1990 case. Police did not have sufficient physical evidence against Anguiano, she said.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Debbie Lloyd said in an interview Thursday that it is not uncommon to have little or no physical evidence against a murder suspect, and said her case was based on testimony from witnesses who said that Anguiano had confessed to the crime.

"We had somebody who testified he was in possession of a .22-caliber [the same caliber as the murder weapon], he was in the area. . . . There was plenty of evidence," Lloyd said.

Anguiano faces 18 years to life when sentenced Nov. 11.

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