Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN FACES TRIAL FOR MURDERING TRANSIENT MAN BY STOMPING VICTIM’S HEAD AND HITTING HIM WITH 16 POUND CONCRETE BOULDER
SANTA ANA – A semi-transient Santa Ana man faces trial Monday for murdering another man by beating him with his fists, stomping on his head, and slamming a 16-pound concrete boulder on the victim’s chest. Jorge Alejandro Lopez, 35, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday, March 5, 2012, at 9:15 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At the time of the crime, Lopez was semi-transient, but lived occasionally with relatives.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. on July 17, 2010, Lopez is accused of walking up to a transient encampment in Santa Ana and punching 36-year-old victim Marco Rojo Nieto in the face without provocation, knocking him to the ground. The defendant is accused of kicking and stomping on Nieto’s head as the victim lie defenseless on the ground. Lopez is accused of then picking up a 16 pound concrete boulder, raising it over his head, and slamming it into the victim’s chest. The defendant is accused of fleeing the scene.
Witnesses called 911 and the Santa Ana Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene. The Santa Ana Police Department investigated this case. The victim died at the scene due to blunt force trauma. Nieto was married and had a teenage daughter.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.