OPENING STATEMENTS TO BEGIN FOR ORANGE WOMAN CHARGED WITH MURDERING HER EX-BOYFRIEND, EL MODENA HIGH WRESTLER

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
August 4, 2006
Contact:

Susan Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 323-4486 Cell

OPENING STATEMENTS TO BEGIN FOR ORANGE WOMAN CHARGED WITH MURDERING HER
EX-BOYFRIEND, EL MODENA HIGH WRESTLER

SANTA ANA – Opening statements will begin Monday for the trial of an Orange woman charged with murdering her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend.  Veronica Paz, 24, a grocery clerk in Orange, is charged with first degree murder and murder by lying in wait.  If convicted, she faces 25 years to life in prison and may be eligible for life without parole.  Opening statements will begin on Monday, August 7, 2006, at 9:00 a.m. in C41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

The People intend to present evidence that Paz arranged the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Diego Gonzalez, with her then-boyfriend Brandan Perry, 22, of Garden Grove.  Gonzalez was a 17-year-old CIF wrestler at El Modena High School.  On the night of November 9, 2003, Paz is accused of luring Gonzalez to a look-out point in an unincorporated part of Orange with the promise of a sexual encounter.  Paz is accused of arranging for Perry to be waiting with a gun at the location.  She is accused of arriving early in the morning of November 10, 2006, and watching as Perry pulled Gonzalez from the car and executed him by shooting him twice in the head. 

Evidence will also show that Paz and Perry then met with a juvenile accomplice and attempted to get rid of the evidence by burning the victim’s body, first with lighter fluid and then with diesel fuel.  The next day Paz is accused of meeting with Perry, Albert Medina, 23, of Santa Ana, Kimberly Gomez, 23, of Orange, and the juvenile, and developing a plot to cover up the murder by coordinating stories in order to provide Perry and Paz with an alibi.    

Perry plead guilty to first degree murder on March 28, 2006, and faces a sentence of 25 years to life. Gomez and Medina plead guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact and are awaiting sentencing. Perry, Medina, and Gomez have agreed to testify fully and truthfully as to what they know about the facts of the Paz case.    

Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

###