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Man arrested in slaying of woman found under Newport Bay Bridge

September 09, 2013|By Adolfo Flores
  • Slaying victim Nancy Hammour, 28.
Slaying victim Nancy Hammour, 28. (Newport Beach Police Department )

A Santa Ana man has been arrested in connection with the slaying of a 28-year-old woman whose body was found face-down under the Newport Bay Bridge on Labor Day.

Nancy Hammour, who'd recently become a mother for the second time, had been shot, police said.

Jaime Prieto Rocha, 40, was arrested Friday night in connection with Hammour's death and is being held in lieu of $1-million bail, according to a statement from  Newport Beach police.

Rocha has a criminal record with gang ties going as far back as 1995, according to Orange County court records. He had previously pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and had been found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

Authorities have asked the Orange County district attorney’s office to file criminal charges against Rocha for his alleged involvement in Hammour’s death, said Jennifer Manzella spokeswoman for the Newport Police Department. 

Hammour, 28, of Santa Ana, died of a gunshot wound, according to Orange County coroner’s officials. She had been found guilty of prostitution and DUI in 2008, and was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2012. 

In May, she gave birth to a son and was in a “complicated” relationship, according to her Facebook page.

Her sister, Yara Morales, said at the time of her death that Hammour was attempting to get custody of her newborn, who was under the care of Social Services.

Hammour also had a 12-year-old son who was living with his grandmother.

“She was having a difficult time battling drugs,” Morales said. “I have no idea what could’ve happened but I know she last spoke to her boyfriend at 1:30 a.m. Monday telling him she wanted to go out and he told her to please not to.”

Morales said she didn’t know Rocha and didn’t recognize his picture.

Donations for Hammour are being accepted at Fairhaven Memorial in Santa Ana, 1702 Fairhaven Ave. and calling (714) 633-1442 with the contract number A130879. Online donations are also accepted.

adolfo.flores@latimes.com

Follow Adolfo Flores on Twitter.

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