|For Immediate Release
Case # 10CF2917 May 3, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN CONVICTED OF ROBBERY-MURDER OF MAN AFTER PRETENDING WITH BROTHER TO BE DOOR-TO-DOOR FRUIT SALESMEN
SANTA ANA – A woman was convicted yesterday of the robbery and murder of a Santa Ana man with her brother by gaining entry into his home by pretending to be fruit salesmen. Gladys Romero, 35, 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. A sentencing date will be set May 10, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Alejandro Romero, 33, Santa Ana, faces the same charges and maximum sentence as his sister Gladys Romero and is scheduled for jury trial May 24, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
The jury trial began in March 2013, but the court declared a nearly five–week recess due to a medical emergency of one of the parties. The jurors, who had originally committed to a trial expected to last through March 22, 2013, all agreed to return in late April 2013 to finish their service. This act was above and beyond their duty and saved the court and taxpayers the cost of a re-trial due to a mistrial.
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 are accused of being armed with firearms. The defendants are accused of tying up Gomez and his family in the living room of the home. Gomez struggled and was able to break free from his ties. Alejandro Romero is accused of struggling with Gomez and shooting the victim. Gladys Romero then shot Gomez when he was on his knees. The defendants are accused of taking a purse and fleeing the scene. Gladys Romero 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 (SAPD), who investigated this case. SAPD Crime Scene Investigators collected DNA evidence at the scene.
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 is prosecuting this case.