For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE FOR ROBBERY-MURDER OF VICTIM AFTER SISTER PRETENDED TO SELL FRUIT DOOR-TO-DOOR
*Co-defendant sister has been convicted and sentenced in this case
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison for the robbery and murder of a Santa Ana man by gaining entry into his home with his co-defendant sister, who was pretending to sell fruit. Alejandro Romero, 34, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty Dec. 12, 2013, to one felony count of murder.
Co-defendant Gladys Romero, 36, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury May 2, 2013, of one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of robbery and burglary with an additional sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death. She was sentenced Jan. 24, 2014, to 25 years to life in state prison.
On June 5, 2000, Gladys Romero posed as a door-to-door fruit saleswoman and gained entry into Juan Gomez’s home by asking for a glass of water. Once inside, Gladys Romero opened the door to allow her brother, Alejandro Romero, to enter the victim’s home. Both defendants were armed with firearms.
The defendants tied up Gomez and his family in the living room of the home, but Gomez struggled and was able to break free from his ties. Alejandro Romero struggled with Gomez and shot the victim. Gladys Romero then shot Gomez when he was on his knees.
The defendants took a purse and fled the scene. Gladys Romero unintentionally left her own purse at the scene. The purse left at the scene did not contain any name or photo identification.
Gomez died at the scene. His family freed themselves and called the Santa Ana Police Department, who investigated this case and collected DNA evidence.
The case remained unsolved and without a suspect for 10 years. On Sept. 30, 2010, DNA taken from Gladys Romero on a misdemeanor conviction was linked to DNA that was taken from her purse left at the murder crime scene by the Orange County Crime Laboratory. The DNA evidence, witness statements, and additional evidence connected the defendants to the case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.