|For Immediate Release
Case # 06ZF0132
June 19, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
JEALOUS ESTRANGED HUSBAND SENTENCED TO 85 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING AND MURDERING WIFE AND ATTEMPTING TO MURDER MAN BELIEVED TO BE HER NEW BEAU
SANTA ANA – An estranged husband was sentenced today to 85 years to life in state prison for murdering his wife and attempting to murder the man whom he believed was her new boyfriend. Miguel Cervantes, 47, was found guilty by a jury on April 7, 2009, of one felony count each of murder, attempted murder, assault with a semi-automatic firearm, and sentencing enhancements for the personal use and discharge of a firearm and the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2005, Cervantes went to the Anaheim apartment of 37-year-old Teresa Cervantes, who was his estranged wife and mother of his two children. The defendant entered the apartment and became involved in a verbal argument with the victim before shooting her five times in the back and back of the head. Cervantes fled the scene, leaving Teresa Cervantes in her living room. The victim’s roommate, who had been in another room of the apartment during the murder, heard the gunshots and found Teresa Cervantes bloody and face down on the couch. The victim died shortly thereafter at the hospital.
After shooting and murdering his estranged wife, Cervantes drove to Riverside to locate John Doe, a man he believed to be in a relationship with Teresa Cervantes. The defendant found John Doe driving in another vehicle with his 10-year-old son and began to chase the victim in his car. Cervantes attempted to murder John Doe by shooting into the victim’s car. The defendant’s shots missed John Doe and his son, and Cervantes fled the scene.
Cervantes fled to Phoenix, AZ. He was caught the following day by the United States Marshals Service while trying to hide in his car.
During the sentencing today, Teresa Cervantes’ father gave a victim impact statement to the court saying that the defendant has placed an enormous burden on his grandchildren, who now have to deal with the tragedy of losing their mother. He also said that he had faith that Teresa Cervantes’ remarkable children would grow up to be good citizens, despite what Miguel Cervantes took away from them.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.