Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
April 24, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
DISGRUNTLED FORMER FRIEND SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR STABBING MAN AND
SMALL DOG DURING BURGLARY OF
VICTIM’S SAN CLEMENTE HOME
SANTA ANA – A disgruntled former friend was sentenced today to life without the possibility of parole for brutally stabbing and murdering a man and his small dog during a residential burglary of the home where he had recently been living and kicked out. Salvador Chavo Marquez, 28, San Clemente, was found guilty by a jury on March 2, 2009, of one felony count of first degree murder, one felony count of animal abuse, and one felony count of the unlawful taking of a vehicle. The sentencing enhancements for murder during the commission of a burglary, murder with torture, and the personal use a deadly weapon were found true.
Marquez met 62-year-old Stephen Clark while installing a television satellite dish at the victim’s home. Over the course of two years, Marquez and Clark became friends, and Clark often allowed Marquez to stay at his San Clemente home because Marquez had no permanent place to live. In July 2006, Clark caught Marquez stealing fishing poles from his home and kicked the defendant out of the house. Marquez moved into a motel in San Clemente.
At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, Marquez went to Clark’s home with the intention of burglarizing the house and broke in through an unlocked side door. When confronted by the victim, Marquez stabbed Clark 98 times using two knives, both of which broke from the force of the stabbing. Marquez also stabbed and killed Clark’s poodle-mix dog, Charlie, by stabbing him 60 times with the same knives.
After murdering Clark and killing the dog, Marquez ransacked the house and stole Clark’s valuables including a computer, fishing poles, jewelry, a coin collection, and other personal items. He then loaded Clark’s pick-up truck with the stolen items and fled the scene. The truck, which had a camper shell over the bed, was so full of Clark’s stolen property that the shell door couldn’t be closed.
When Marquez returned to his motel room, his roommates noticed blood on his shoes and clothes. The defendant stated that he had been in a fight, but told his roommates, “don’t worry, the guy’s not amongst the living anymore.” He then offered one roommate $100 to help him take the truck to Los Angeles. At approximately midnight on Aug. 6, 2006, the truck ran out of gas near Oso Parkway on the Interstate 5 while Marquez was driving with his roommate. The defendant, who had become intoxicated with his roommate after the murder, pulled the truck to the side of the road and both men fell asleep.
At 1:00 a.m. an officer from the California Highway Patrol stopped to check the parked truck on the side of the freeway. Marquez, who showed signs of intoxication, was given a field sobriety test and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). When asked by the officer about the blood on his clothes and shoes, the defendant claimed he had been cleaning fish blood after fishing. Clark’s stolen truck was towed and Marquez was booked in Orange County jail for DUI.
At approximately 9:00 a.m., a neighbor noticed that Cl