Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
June 12, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
JILTED MAN SENTENCED TO 50 TO LIFE
FOR SHOOTING AND MURDERING GIRLFRIEND’S
SANTA ANA – A jilted boyfriend was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering a 35-year-old man after becoming suspicious that the victim was having an affair with the defendant’s girlfriend of 24 years. Jose Anthony Verduzco, 43, Orange, was found guilty by a jury on March 4, 2009, of one felony count of murder and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.
Verduzco lived with his girlfriend of 24 years and their four children in an apartment in Orange. The victim, 35-year-old Miguel Jimenez, was an employee of Verduzco’s neighbor and frequently went to his boss’s house after work. Jimenez met Verduzco’s girlfriend and the two began a 6-month affair.
Verduzco became increasingly suspicious of his girlfriend’s relationship with Jimenez because he would see the two talking and she was always on the phone. The defendant made several comments to his girlfriend about wanting to murder the victim. Approximately six weeks prior to the murder, Verduzco’s girlfriend found a sawed-off shotgun and bullets in their home, which she gave to a neighbor so that the defendant would not shoot Jimenez.
On the night of Nov. 28, 2005, Verduzco told his 10-year-old son, “Tomorrow, I’m going to shoot someone in the head.” The next morning, Nov. 29, 2005, Verduzco told his girlfriend as she was leaving the house that he was going to get a gun and kill Jimenez. The girlfriend called Jimenez to warn him, but Jimenez told her not to worry.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., Jimenez was driven to his boss’s house with several other workers. Verduzco was waiting outside of the complex on a bicycle. When the driver parked the car, Verduzco rode his bike to the car, parked it, and began chasing Jimenez around the car. Jimenez finally stopped and turned to face Verduzco, who pulled out a firearm and shot him several times in the head, chest, back, and arm.
The victim’s 18-year-old niece, who was the daughter of his boss, heard the gunshots and ran outside to see the defendant standing over Jimenez. Verduzco, who was laughing and smiling as he shot the victim, turned and pointed the gun at Jimenez’s niece. As he lay dying, Jimenez signaled to his niece to get away because Verduzco was dangerous. Verduzco then shot the victim one more time.
Verduzco, whose girlfriend had also come out after hearing the gunshots, turned to his girlfriend and told her that he wasn’t going to kill her because she was the mother of his children. Verduzco then fled on his bike. The defendant fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. Jimenez was pronounced dead at the scene.