Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
FATHER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR ATTEMPTING
TO HIRE HIT MAN TO MURDER EX-GIRLFRIEND
OVER CHILD CUSTODY BATTLE
SANTA ANA – A father will be arraigned today for trying to hire a hit man to murder his ex-girlfriend in order to end an ongoing custody battle over their 5-year-old son. Daniel Villanueva Patino, 30, Santa Ana, mortgage broker, is charged with two felony counts of solicitation to commit murder. He is being held on $1 million bail and faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison if convicted. Patino is scheduled to be arraigned today, Aug. 20, 2008, at 1:30 p.m. in Department
C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2008, Patino is accused of meeting a friend, Jose T., at a fast food restaurant in Santa Ana. He is accused of telling Jose T. that he wanted to have his ex-girlfriend, 30-year-old Jane Doe, killed because he was tired of battling over custody issues related to their 5-year-old son. Patino is accused of asking Jose T. if he knew a hit man or if he knew of a way to get rid of Jane Doe.
On Aug. 15, 2008, Patino is accused of meeting Jose T. again for lunch to further discuss having Jane Doe murdered. He is accused of giving his friend a photo of the victim, her home address, and keys to her house and car. After lunch, Jose T. reported his conversation with Patino to the police.
On Aug. 18, 2008, Patino is accused of going to the same fast food restaurant in Santa Ana to meet an undercover police officer, whom he believed to be a hit man that Jose T. had found. Patino is accused of telling the officer that he wanted Jane Doe dead and was willing to pay $10,000. He is accused of telling the officer that he wanted Jane Doe killed the following weekend because he had custody that weekend and their son would not be around. The defendant was arrested as soon as the meeting ended.
Deputy District Attorney Andre Manssourian of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.