|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
September 10, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
GANG MEMBER ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF ROBBERY-MURDER OF PROSTITUTE IN HOTEL BY STRANGLING AND BEATING VICTIM
WESTMINSTER – A Los Angeles Hispanic criminal street gang member has been arrested on charges of murdering a prostitute by strangling her to death and severely beating the victim in her hotel room. Cesar Gomez, 34, El Monte, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery. He has a prior strike for a 1993 Pomona conviction for attempted murder (Los Angeles County Case #KA014845). If convicted, Gomez faces a minimum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Gomez is being held without bail. An arraignment date and Department are to be determined.
On Aug. 19, 2009, 24-year-old Ashley Lilly, Inglewood, checked into a room at the Crown Plaza Anaheim Resort on Harbor Boulevard. The victim posted her profile on an escort website with information about the hotel where she was staying and that she would be there for three days. Men could contact the victim through the escort site to arrange to meet Lilly for sex, and she would provide them with her room number over the phone or the Internet.
Late on the night of Aug. 20, 2009, or early in the morning of Aug. 21, 2009, Gomez is accused of showing up at Lilly’s hotel room. He is accused of severely beating her face and body and strangling her to death. After murdering the victim, the defendant is accused of ransacking the hotel room and stealing the victim’s personal items. Gomez is accused of then fleeing the scene.
Later in the morning on Aug. 21, 2009, hotel staff found the murdered victim on the floor of her room and contacted the Garden Grove Police Department. Gomez was linked to the crime through DNA collected from the crime scene. He was arrested by Garden Grove Police, who investigated this case, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.