One of the two men charged with the 2013 beating death and arson of a Long Beach man’s body was sentenced this week to 28 years to life in prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

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Jose Angel Martinez, now 22 years old, was found guilty of first-degree murder in early October for the killing of 42-year-old Christopher Waters on April 23, 2013. Waters’ body was found bound in the back of a burning sports utility vehicle in Rancho Palos Verdes where authorities believe he had been transported after being killed in Long Beach.


Waters was determined to have been killed by strangulation before being placed in the back of the vehicle which was set on fire.

The second person charged with the Waters’ murder, then 17-year-old Adrian Berumen, turned himself in to the Long Beach Police Department four days after Waters’ body was discovered. Berumen was within a month of turning 18 at the time of the murder and is being prosecuted as an adult but has yet to be sentenced.

Both Berumen and Martinez were seniors at Long Beach Poly High School at the time of the murder.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.