|For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0079
December 14, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
CONVICTED ILLINOIS SERIAL MURDERER INDICTED FOR MURDERING FIVE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WOMEN BETWEEN 1986 AND 1995
*The OCDA is prosecuting a consolidated case involving Orange, Riverside, and San Diego County victims
SANTA ANA – A convicted triple murderer incarcerated in an Illinois prison has been indicted by the grand jury for murdering five Southern California women between 1986 and 1995 in Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. Andrew Urdiales, 45, is charged with five felony counts of special circumstances murder for committing multiple murders and the personal use of a firearm in three murders. The defendant has prior Illinois convictions for murdering two women in 2002 and another in 2004. The special circumstance allegations in this case make Urdiales eligible for the death penalty. Urdiales is currently appealing a death sentence in Illinois. He is expected to be extradited to Orange County pending completion of that appeal.
Before the death penalty is pursued by the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA), a special circumstances committee will meet and confer. The committee consists of the District Attorney, the Senior Assistant and Assistant District Attorney in charge of the Homicide Unit, and other prosecutors experienced in capital cases. The committee will discuss the defendant’s record, the nature of the crime, and the vulnerability of the victim, among other factors. The committee will also consider mitigating circumstances from the defense attorney. The final decision to pursue the death penalty rests on the District Attorney.
In August 2009, the OCDA released a press release with the following information:
Background on Urdiales
Beginning in April 1984, Urdiales, then-19 years old, was a U.S. Marine stationed at various facilities in Southern California until his discharge in April 1991. During that time, Urdiales is accused of murdering four women, including one in Orange County, two in Riverside County, and one in San Diego County. After his discharge in 1991, Urdiales moved back to his home state of Illinois. In 1995, he is accused of murdering a fifth woman, his third victim in Riverside County, while on vacation in Palm Springs.
Murder of Robbin Brandley, Orange County
On the evening of Jan. 18, 1986, 23-year-old Robbin Brandley was volunteering as an usher at a Saddleback College jazz pianist concert. That evening, Urdiales is accused of driving to the college from Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton armed with a six-inch blade hunting knife with the intention of murdering a random victim.
After the concert, Brandley left the reception in the Fine Arts complex and began walking to her car. Urdiales is accused of seeing the victim coming from the building and approaching her from behind in a dimly lit parking lot. He is accused of murdering the victim by stabbing her 41 times in the back, neck, chest, and hands, and then fleeing the scene.