|For Immediate Release
Case # 03CF3338
February 10, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE FOR LURING EX-BOYFRIEND TO BE MURDERED BY CURRENT BOYFRIEND WITH THE PROMISE OF SEX
SANTA ANA – A woman was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for luring her ex-boyfriend with the promise of sex to be murdered by her current boyfriend. Veronica Paz, 28, Orange, pleaded guilty to one felony count of second degree murder. The defendant was previously convicted by a jury in this case on Aug. 28, 2006, and was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison Dec. 15, 2006. The California Court of Appeal, 4th District, reversed the conviction June 23, 2008, for an instructional error.
Paz’s co-defendant, Brandan Dante Perry, 27, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty to one felony count of first degree murder on March 28, 2006, and was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison on Sept. 8, 2006.
Victim Diego Gonzalez was Paz’s ex-boyfriend and a 17-year-old wrestler at El Modena High School. Paz had continued to see the victim after she began re-dating Perry, her former high school boyfriend.
On the night of Nov. 9, 2003, Paz lured Gonzalez to a hill-top residential area in an unincorporated part of Orange with the promise of sex. Paz arranged with Perry, her then-boyfriend, for Perry to be waiting at the designated location to assault the victim. Paz arrived with Gonzalez in the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2006, and parked the car. She watched as Perry pulled Gonzalez from the car and executed him by shooting him twice in the head.
The defendants attempted to get rid of the evidence by dousing Gonzalez’s body with lighter fluid and setting him on fire. The fire did not destroy the body and Paz and Perry drove to a gas station to purchase diesel fuel. They returned to the body, which was left on the ground in the middle of a cul-de-sac, and set it on fire again using the diesel fuel.
The day after the murder, Paz and Perry met with two friends to develop a story as an alibi for the night of the murder. Those friends, Albert Thomas Medina and Kimberly Rita Gomez, both 28, pleaded guilty in 2004 to accessory after the fact and were sentenced to three years probation.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.