|For Immediate Release
October 25, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA TO SEEK DEATH PENALTY AGAINST NAVY DESERTER CHARGED WITH VALENTINE’S DAY MURDER OF WOMAN AND HER BOYFRIEND WHILE PRETENDING TO BUY THEIR CAR
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney announced today that he will seek the death penalty against an unemployed Navy deserter for the Valentine’s Day shooting-murder of a woman and her live-in boyfriend after posing as a potential car buyer. Pasqual Raul Loera, 33, Redlands, is charged with two felony count of special circumstances murder. The special circumstances include murder during the commission of robbery, murder during the commission of burglary, and multiple murders. Loera is being held without bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Nov. 4, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On Feb. 14, 2010, Loera is accused of going to the Westminster home of couple Julie Palasco and Dennis Koire under the false pretense of buying an Infiniti sedan that the victims had listed for sale with AutoTrader. The defendant and the victims did not know each other.
After entering the victims’ home, the defendant is accused of shooting and murdering 48-year-old Palasco. He is accused of shooting and critically injuring 49-year-old Koire. Loera is accused of then stealing the car and fleeing the scene.
Loera is accused of driving to his home in Redlands and accidently shooting himself in the foot with the firearm when it slipped from his waistband and discharged as he got out of his vehicle. Without seeking medical treatment for his foot, the defendant is accused of leaving Redlands and driving to a casino near the Nevada state border.
The defendant is accused of attracting the attention of casino security by walking around the parking lot and crying. Security asked Loera to leave. Loera is accused of driving away from the casino in the Infiniti and crashing into a ditch.
Las Vegas police responded to the scene and determined that the vehicle belonged to the couple in Westminster. The Westminster Police Department, who investigated this case, were contacted to perform a welfare check on Palasco and Koire. Palasco was found dead at the scene and Koire was transported to the hospital in critical condition.