Four men face life sentences in state prison after they were found guilty of murder Monday in connection with the 2012 brutal attack of a 24-year-old man in Long Beach, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.
A jury found Jose Duenas, 23, Christopher Arevalo Ramirez, 24, and Rafael Antonio Portales and Rafael Bravo, both 25, guilty of second-degree murder and kidnapping—both felony counts.
District attorney officials said the victim Hector Jauregui Campos knew Duenas, Ramirez and Bravo and was at a Mira Loma home with them on September 7, 2012 when he was “shot in the back of the head and hit with a sledgehammer on the head by the defendants.”
However, Campos did not die, so Duenas and Ramirez began beating him in the middle of a street, according to a witness who testified at trial. The pair then put the victim in a car and drove to Long Beach while Bravo took Campos’ truck and ditched it in Pomona, said Deputy District Attorney Paul Guthrie, who prosecuted the case.
Once Duenas and Ramirez stopped at a Long Beach apartment building, Portales appeared, and all three then talked to the victim before they resumed beating him. According to the prosecutor, Duenas then began to strangle Campos with a shirt he placed around the victim’s neck.
“According to an eyewitness, Campos’ body went limp and the three men beat him a second time before they placed his body in the trunk of a vehicle,” a release from the district attorney’s office stated. “Ramirez and Portales entered the vehicle and drove to an alleyway where they pulled Campos out of the truck, shot him in the head a second time and left the victim for dead.”
A witness to the strangling was able to write down Ramirez’s license plate number and called police, allowing for authorities to find Ramirez and Portales. The two were pulled over, found with the victim’s blood on them and arrested, according to the prosecutor.
“During their arrest, a woman was walking through an alleyway when she discovered Campos and called 911,” the release stated. “Officials responded to the area and transported the victim to the hospital, where he died the next day.”
Following the arrest of Ramirez and Portales, a tipster revealed to authorities that Bravo was cleaning up the crime scene in Mira Loma, said the prosecutor. Law enforcement went to the Riverside County residence and arrested Bravo in connection with the murder. Duenas was also found and arrested at the scene of the strangulation, the release stated.
All four defendants face a life sentence in state prison when they are scheduled to be sentenced August 10 at the Long Beach Courthouse.
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) investigated the case.