For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN FACES TRIAL FOR STABBING-MURDER OF MOTHER’S HOUSEGUEST
SANTA ANA – A man faces trial tomorrow for murdering his mother’s houseguest by stabbing him in the chest with a pocket knife. Saul Jose Salazar, 29, Santa Ana, 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 16 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, in Department C-43, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
In 2010, Salazar is accused of being subject to a restraining order, which barred him from going near his mother based on his prior violence towards her. On two occasions, Salazar is accused of violating the restraining order by showing up at his mother’s house. The restraining order expired two weeks prior to the murder.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Oct. 3, 2010, Salazar is accused of staying at his mother’s house for several hours with his friends. The defendant is accused of refusing his mother’s request to leave and becoming violent. Salazar’s mother contacted SAPD and the defendant is accused of leaving the home.
At approximately 7:00 p.m. the defendant is accused of returning to his mother’s home where a party was being held and provoking a verbal altercation with 33-year-old Antonio Verdugo-Cabrera, a family friend. At approximately 11:00 p.m. when the remaining houseguests left the party, Salazar is accused of pulling out a pocket knife and murdering Verdugo-Cabrera by stabbing him in the chest. The defendant is accused of stabbing the victim two more times on his left arm. Salazar is accused of then fleeing the scene.
The defendant’s mother called 911 and SAPD responded to the scene. While officers were investigating the murder, Salazar is accused of returning to the scene to turn himself in. He is accused of being in possession of a bloody knife.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.