Long Beach Man Faces Murder Charge in Death of Rehab Facility Patient

A 26-year-old Long Beach man is expected to be arraigned next month on a murder charge after he allegedly caused a patient in an alcohol live-in program he operated to die when he blocked the victim’s airway using a spoon and tape and stood on his chest.

Jason Aviles faces one count of murder for the death of 60-year-old Jose Sandoval, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Sandoval had checked into the Grupo Renacer rehab facility in Los Angeles on August 11, 2016, prosecutors said in a statement today. Four days later, the defendant, who has no professional medical training, allegedly blocked Sandoval’s airway and stood on the agitated victim’s chest, prosecutors added.

The victim died of asphyxia.

Aviles faces a possible maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged. His bail is scheduled at $2 million.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Newton Division.

Aviles’ arraignment was scheduled for today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, but was postponed until August 15.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.