|For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0058
October 18, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING ANOTHER MAN BY
HITTING HIM IN HEAD AND FACE WITH AXE HANDLE
*Defendant fled the scene in victim’s car and was later arrested for DUI
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering another man by hitting him in the head and face with the handle of an axe before fleeing the scene in the victim’s car. Jorge Santiago Avalos, 27, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Dec. 20, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. This was a re-trial of the case where a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in April 2012.
On the afternoon of Sept. 12, 2008, Avalos went to the Santa Ana home of Hilario Urquiza to drink with the victim. While in the home, Avalos murdered the victim by hitting him more than 12 times in the head and face with the handle of an axe. He then left the victim face-down in a pool of blood, stole the victim’s Jeep, and fled the scene.
Shortly after the murder, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Avalos drove with a .16 percent blood alcohol level in the victim’s stolen car. Witnesses called 911 to report a possible drunken driver. At the intersection of Jackson Street and Camille Street in Santa Ana, the Jeep ran out of gas and the defendant attempted to abandon the car and leave on foot.
The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) responded to the scene and observed the defendant near the car. When contacted by police, the defendant displayed objective signs of intoxication and was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Officers found paperwork in a subsequent search of the Jeep showing that that car was registered to Urquiza.
At approximately 9:00 p.m., Urquiza’s son called SAPD to report that he had returned home to find his father had been murdered. SAPD investigated this case and linked Avalos to the crime.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.