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2 Santa Ana Men Jailed in Roommate's Fatal Beating

August 13, 2003

Two Santa Ana men were arrested Tuesday in connection with the bludgeoning death of their roommate, authorities said.

Hugo Salvador Rivera and John Paul Vega, both 19, are each being held at Santa Ana Jail on $1-million bail after calling police at 12:44 a.m. to report the death.

Sgt. Baltazar De La Riva, a Santa Ana police spokesman, said the men reported that they had acted in self-defense after their roommate assaulted them during an argument over their rental agreement at an apartment in the 1400 block of South Spruce Street.

After investigating, however, police arrested Rivera and Vega on suspicion of murder.

"These guys called pretending to be victims and turn out to be, we believe, the suspects who committed this murder," De La Riva said.

The roommate, who has not been identified, apparently died from several blows to the head from a 30-pound metal dumbbell and a metal pry bar, De La Riva said.

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