|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
March 5, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Captain Mike Handfield
SON CHARGED WITH MURDER OF HIS PARENTS IN Y2K
FINANCIAL GAIN PLOT
* Murder plot co-participant currently serving life without the possibility of parole
GARDEN GROVE – A son charged with the murder of his parents in a Y2K financial gain plot with a friend was arrested today on a warrant by the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD). Jose Alonso Najera Jr., 27, Anaheim, is charged with two counts of murder with sentencing enhancements alleging that the multiple murders were committed for financial gain. If convicted, Najera faces life without the possibility of parole. He is being held in the Orange County Jail and is ineligible for bail. Najera is scheduled to be arraigned Friday at the West Justice Center, Westminster. The time and Department are to be determined.
Gerard Johnson was convicted on March 15, 2000 of murdering Garden Grove homeowners Jose Najera Sr., 42, and Elena Najera, 46. Najera was not charged at that time.
In 1999, Najera, then 19, is accused of scaring his parents into taking all of their money out of banks and putting the funds in a safety deposit box in anticipation of the Y2K bug. Najera is the victims’ son and lived at their home.
In the early morning of December 28, 1999, Gerald Johnson drove to the Najera home located at 12412 Merrill in a car belonging to friend Brian Smith. Johnson entered the Najera house through Jose Najera’s bedroom window. Defendant Najera is accused of leaving the window open so that Johnson could enter the house. Johnson then stabbed each victim more than 20 times. During the bloody struggle, Johnson’s ski mask was pulled off and lost in the house, and was later recovered by the police.
At approximately 4:30 a.m., Najera called 9-1-1 call to report that he had found his parents deceased in the family home. Najera is accused of pretending that he had no part in the killing of his parents.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab linked Johnson to the crime through DNA. A ski cap was found next to the victims with Johnson’s hair and saliva. Najera Sr.’s DNA was found in Smith’s car and in a shower in Johnson’s house.