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Court cases include murder, sexual assault

Pretrial hearings for man accused of killing 16-year-old Ceceline Godsoe in 2001 is one of four cases scheduled today.

June 22, 2007

The following cases are scheduled for court today:

  • Jose Fernandez Lopez, a Costa Mesa resident, is scheduled for sentencing in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana after a jury found him guilty of two sexual assaults in the apartment complex where he lived.

    Lopez, 34, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

    Costa Mesa police arrested Lopez in August, 2005, at his home in the Newport Village Apartments complex on West Baker Street following a seven-month investigation. In 2004 and 2005, two women reported they were raped on the ground floor of the complex, police said.

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    Each instance occurred when the victims left doors and windows open or unlocked.

    Lopez was one of 125 men at the complex who gave DNA samples. Police arrested him after matching him to DNA taken from the victims.

  • Victor Manuel Garcia, the first Mexican national to be extradited to the United States to face charges for a crime committed as a juvenile, is scheduled for pretrial hearings today, the Orange County District Attorney's office said.

    Garcia, 23, is accused of killing 16-year-old Ceceline Godsoe in 2001. She was found by her father beaten to death in the bluffs of Fairview Park.

    Although Garcia was 17 at the time of the girl's death, he will be tried as an adult, prosecutors said.

  • Alonso A. Machain and Long Beach resident Myron Sandora Gardner face a pre-trial hearing for allegedly plotting with Skylar Deleon, his then-pregnant wife and John Fitzgerald Kennedy to kill Newport Beach couple Thomas and Jackie Hawks in 2004, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said.

    Deleon and friend Kennedy, called the brains and brawn of the plan, are scheduled for jury trial on Sept. 17. The trial was originally scheduled for the end of January.

    Skylar Deleon's wife, Jennifer Henderson-Deleon, was found guilty of first-degree murder. Her sentencing has been set for Oct. 5, prosecutors said. The maximum sentence she can receive is life in prison without parole.

    Machain testified during Henderson-Deleon's trial that he, Deleon and Kennedy overpowered the Hawkses while on a test-drive of the boat, made the couple sign over the title to them and then tied them to the anchor and threw them overboard. Prosecutors have not commented about Gardner, whose alleged role in the case has never been revealed.

  • A Costa Mesa man, charged with the sexual assault of a woman outside of a home at which she was house-sitting, is scheduled for pre-trial hearings.

    In March, Byron Mauricio Izaguirre, 25, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with the intent to commit rape, two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, and resisting and obstructing an officer, prosecutors said.

    On Feb. 21, a man allegedly attacked a woman as she was getting out of her car, grabbed her and forced his hands down her clothing, prosecutors said. The victim ran down the street, but was allegedly caught by Izaguirre.

    The alleged attacker fled when neighbors who heard screaming came out of their homes. Police found Izaguirre hidden in nearby bushes, prosecutors said.

    Izaguirre faces up to 22 years in prison if convicted, officials said.

    — Kelly Strodl

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