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Suspect in slaying of Fontana man is found dead in jail

August 08, 2013|By Emily Foxhall

One of the suspects accused in last month's slaying of a Fontana man has been found dead in his jail cell, according to the San Bernardino County coroner's office. 

Richard Gonzalez, 18, of Fontana, died at 6:50 p.m. Wednesday at the West Valley Detention Center, said Deputy Coroner Andrew Avery. 

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death, said Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

KTLA, meanwhile, is reporting that Gonzalez committed suicide.

Gonzales was arrested Tuesday and was among four people formally charged Thursday in connection with the slaying of Alejandro Padilla. One of the other suspects is the ex-boyfriend of Padilla's daughter.

The charges come nearly two weeks after the body of Alejandro Padilla was found in his black Nissan Versa, which had been set on fire and left in a Rialto park July 26, said Fontana Police Department Sgt. Doug Imhof.

Police said there were reports of yelling in front of Padilla's house earlier that morning. Padilla and his car were missing when officers arrived. A broken bat and blood were found at the crime scene, authorities said.

Edward Anthony Morales, who is the ex-boyfriend of the victim's daughter, and Gonzalez were charged with murder. The two men were friends, authorities said.

The pair were also charged with robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and arson.

Gonzalez had previously been convicted of and served jail time for threatening "to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person," according to prosecutors.

Alma Rosa Quezada, Morales' 37-year-old mother, and Victor Morales, 17, have been charged with being accessories by helping to "harbor, conceal, and aid" the 18-year-old murder suspects, according to the complaint.

Morales, who reportedly had been dating Padilla’s daughter, was familiar with the family’s routine, Imhof said. The couple reportedly split up a few months ago.


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Twitter: @emfoxhall

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