|For Immediate Release
Case # 07CF0007
April 16, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Cell: 714-292-2718Farrah Emami
WOMAN CONVICTED OF STABBING AND MURDERING 18-YEAR-OLD MAN IN HUNTINGTON BEACH HOTEL AFTER CLAIMING TO BE THE DEVIL
WESTMINSTER – A Valencia woman was found guilty today by a jury of murdering an 18-year-old man by stabbing him in the neck at a Huntington Beach hotel. Samantha Elizabeth Rothwell, 21, was convicted of second degree murder and the sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon was found true. Rothwell faces a maximum sentence of 16 years to life in prison at her sentencing on June 13, 2008 in Department C-34, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On August 15, 2006, Rothwell arrived at approximately 10:30 p.m. at the Hotel Huntington Beach to meet a group of friends. The group of 12 was in Huntington Beach celebrating the birthday of one of the friends and planned to go the beach the following day.
As the evening progressed, several people, including Rothwell and 18-year-old Walter Rivas, were standing on the balcony smoking. During the conversation, Rivas told the people on the balcony that the last time he was in Huntington Beach he had “seen God.” Rothwell became angry and responded, “I’m the devil and don’t talk about God or I’ll stab you.” The defendant walked away into the hotel room, took a small pocket knife from her purse, and went back onto the balcony. Rothwell then stabbed Rivas in the neck and back.
Before the defendant fled the scene she told the other friends in the hotel room that it was “no big deal,” and that “they need to get over it” and “go to hell.” Rothwell fled the scene and drove to McDonald’s before returning home to Valencia.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.