Case # 11CF3436
Date: April 10, 2015
MAN FORMERLY ON SAPD’S MOST WANTED LIST SENTENCED TO 55 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING EMPLOYER IN 2009
SANTA ANA – A man who was on the Santa Ana Police Department’s (SAPD) most wanted list was sentenced today to 55 years to life in state prison for murdering his employer. Gerald Guy Byrne, 54, was found guilty by a jury on March 11, 2015, of one felony count of second degree murder. The Court also found the defendant’s two prior strike convictions for robbery in 1986 and arson in 1993 to be true.
At the time of the crime, Byrne was working for 69-year-old Charles Samo.
Between July 19, 2009, and July 21, 2009, Byrne entered Samo’s residence in Santa Ana and strangled him to death. After the crime, Byrne fled to Washington and was placed on the “Santa Ana Police Department’s 10 Most Wanted Suspects” list.
On Oct. 22, 2011, Byrne was arrested in Everett, Wash. by the Everett Police Department on an unrelated charge. He was identified during the booking process as a wanted parole suspect in California and was extradited back to Orange County.
SAPD investigated this case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.