Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsPleas

FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | Countywide

2 Plead Not Guilty in Woman's Death

September 19, 1998|JASON KANDEL

Two Anaheim men pleaded not guilty Friday to charges they killed a pregnant woman because one--believed to be the father of the child--wanted to avoid financial responsibility.

Richard Tovar, 21, and Henry Rodriguez, 22, were ordered back to the Justice Center in Fullerton on Nov. 13 for pretrial motions.

Authorities believe Jeanette Gomez Espeleta, 20, was killed and dumped in the water near Long Beach Harbor, although her body has yet to be found. She was last seen July 17 in Anaheim.

Espeleta named Tovar as her child's father. Investigators allege Tovar wanted to kill the woman to avoid paying child support.

Authorities said Espeleta met Tovar and Rodriguez near MainPlace/Santa Ana and was kidnapped. They say Tovar may have shot her and conspired with Rodriguez to dump the body.

"This is a tough case for both sides," said Tovar's attorney, Richard Zaiden Corrado. "There aren't too many bodyless murder cases around. Where is that evidence?"

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|