A convicted killer who stabbed a man to death in a motorhome during a robbery in West Long Beach was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years to life in prison.
Daniel Fernandez is one of two younger men convicted of killing 41-year-old Hernan Cortez in the motorhome where he lived near Harbor Avenue and 15th Street.
Prosecutors said Fernandez worked with Hernan Cortez’s son, Jason Cortes, to rob the father of cash he’d saved up to buy a home in Wilmington. During the robbery on July 6, 2018, Hernan Cortez was stabbed to death, police said.
After the attack, Fernandez and Jason Cortes fled to Las Vegas, prosecutors said. In 2019, Long Beach police and U.S. Marshals arrested them in Placerville after detectives used security camera video, rental car records, phone records and credit card information to link them to the murder.
Authorities never found the money they were accused of stealing from Hernan Cortez, Deputy District Attorney Karen Brako said Tuesday.
Fernandez, who has remained jailed since his arrest, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder prior to his sentencing Tuesday.
Jason Cortes, 23, has also admitted to playing a part in the robbery and killing of his father. He pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced later this month to 11 years in prison, according to Brako.
Jason Cortes was allowed to plead to the lesser charge and receive a shorter sentence because investigators believe Fernandez was the one who actually stabbed Hernan Cortez, Brako said.