|For Immediate Release
Case # 10CF2917
March 11, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN FACES TRIAL FOR ROBBERY-MURDER OF MAN AFTER PRETENDING WITH BROTHER TO BE DOOR-TO-DOOR FRUIT SALESMEN
SANTA ANA – A woman faces a jury trial tomorrow for 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, both of Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of robbery, kidnapping, and burglary with an additional sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Alejandro Romero, 33, faces the same charges and maximum sentence as his sister Gladys Romero and is scheduled for jury trial March 22, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On June 5, 2000, Gladys Romero is accused of posing as a door-to-door fruit saleswoman and gaining entry into Juan Gomez’s home by asking for a glass of water. Once inside, Gladys Romero is accused of opening 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 is accused of then shooting Gomez when he was on his knees. The defendants are accused of taking a purse and fleeing the scene. Gladys Romero is accused of leaving 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.