For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
OCDA TO OPPOSE PAROLE OF NEIGHBOR WHO MURDERED PREGNANT WOMAN AND UNBORN CHILD
SANTA ANA- Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of a man who murdered a pregnant woman and her unborn child by stabbing her 26 times. Arthur Richard Perez, 54, Garden Grove, is currently being held at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Blythe. Perez was sentenced Aug. 9, 1989, to 25 years to life in state prison after he was found guilty by a jury of first degree murder. He is scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche will appear at the hearing to oppose parole.
1988 Murder of Victoria Mesa
On the morning of Sept. 30, 1988, then-30-year-old Perez murdered 28-year-old Victoria Jean Mesa, who was five months pregnant. Perez lived in the same neighborhood and was acquainted with Mesa. After gaining entry to Mesa’s residence, where she was home alone, Perez stabbed her 26 times in her head, neck, arms, and back, using Mesa’s kitchen knives. During Perez’s attack, the handle from the knife broke off and he went back into the kitchen for another knife so he could continue stabbing Mesa. After murdering the victim, the inmate fled the scene.
Mesa’s husband was concerned about being unable to reach his pregnant wife all morning and called a neighbor to check on her. She was found lying face-down in a pool of blood. Garden Grove police later found other blood spots throughout the house, consistent with the murderer injuring himself.
The police identified Perez after contacting local hospitals and asking if anyone had been treated for knife injuries. Perez told police that he had hurt himself while cutting lumber, but doctors at the hospital reported that Perez’s injuries were not consistent with lumber saw injuries. Police collected blood, hair, fingerprints and saliva samples from Perez, and matched them to evidence found at the crime scene.
Threat to Public Safety and Failure to Accept Responsibility
Mesa’s murder involved great violence and a high degree of viciousness and callousness. Perez demonstrated his obvious disregard for Mesa’s life and her unborn child when he stabbed her 26 times, and stopped to retrieve a second knife after the first knife broke.