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2nd suspect held in death of woman found under Newport Bay bridge

September 27, 2013|By Adolfo Flores and Jeremiah Dobruck
  • Nancy Hammour, who was shot to death on Labor Day.
Nancy Hammour, who was shot to death on Labor Day. (Newport Beach Police )

A second man has been charged in the Labor Day killing of a 28-year-old Santa Ana woman whose body was found under a bridge spanning Newport Bay.

The Orange County district attorney’s office charged Irvin Tellez, 25, a construction worker, in the shooting death of Nancy Hammour. He is being held on $1-million bail.

A second man, Jaime Prieto Rocha, 40, has already been charged in the woman's death and also is being held on $1-million bail.

The two men are suspected of being fellow gang members, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Hammour had recently become a mother for the second time and was reportedly trying to pull her life together, family members said.

Authorities said that on Labor Day about 5:30 a.m., Tellez is suspected of shooting a different woman in the face outside a Santa Ana apartment complex.

The unidentified woman had been in a coma at Western Medical Center Santa Ana,  Bertagna said, but she’s since regained consciousness and remains in critical condition.

There’s no indication Hammour and the other victim knew each other, but they did live in the same neighborhood, police said.

“Our detectives believe the two shootings are related in some way,” Bertagna said, but declined to elaborate further, citing the ongoing investigation.

Hammour was identified this week in a sweeping indictment against more than 100 members or associates of the Mexican Mafia prison gang accused of running drugs, ordering beatings and keeping lists of people it wanted killed.

Hammour was allegedly involved in a gang that distributed meth and heroin, according to the indictment.

In February, she sold meth to a police informant and was recorded calling a higher-level dealer to order more drugs, according to the indictment.

Law enforcement officials allegedly recorded her phone calls two more times when she ordered drugs from another defendant in the case.

The Newport and Santa Ana Police departments said her killing isn’t connected to the indictment.

"It doesn't seem like that indictment has any bearing on our case," said Jennifer Manzella, a Newport spokeswoman.

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adolfo.flores@latimes.com

jeremiah.dobruck2@latimes.com

Follow Adolfo Flores on Twitter.

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