Shocking Murder Case Unveiled: 3 Arrested for Fatal Robbery Gone Wrong at Pasadena Scenic Overlook – Discover the Full Story with Orange County Register

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has filed murder charges against three men accused of robbing and killing a driver parked at a scenic overlook along the Angeles Crest Highway in late July. This news comes as the authorities aim to optimize the content for SEO, enhance its creativity and uniqueness, improve syntax and tone, increase perplexity and burstiness, and retain the HTML tags.

The accused individuals, namely Luis Ventura (24), Marco Antonio Hernandez (18), and Abraham Ernesto Alvarenga Cortez (21), face two counts of robbery and one count of murder each for the slaying of Jessie Munoz (32) during a failed robbery attempt on July 22. To secure their appearance in court, prosecutors have requested a bail amount of $2.1 million for each defendant.

District Attorney George Gascón expressed strong condemnation for the shocking incident, stating, “The heinous actions resulting in the robbery and murder of Mr. Jessie Enrique Munoz are a reprehensible display of disregard for human life. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Munoz’s family and friends, who are coping with the pain caused by this senseless act. Additionally, we acknowledge the female companion of Mr. Munoz, who also fell victim to robbery during this crime. We are fully committed to ensuring that these three individuals are held accountable for their actions.”

According to the prosecutors, Alvarenga Cortez personally used a handgun during the robbery and murder.

Ventura, who has been in custody on robbery charges since July 26, pleaded not guilty during an arraignment on September 1. Hernandez and Cortez are scheduled to appear for arraignment on September 11.

Originally, the Pasadena Police Department arrested Ventura, Wendy Sarai Cerritos (21), Rossel Jose Hernandez (20), and three others over a month ago in connection with the attack. However, three unnamed suspects were released two days later. At that time, only robbery charges were filed and no murder charges were brought against them.

The next court appearance for Ventura, Cerritos, and Rossel Hernandez is scheduled for October 6.

All five suspects are believed to be associated with a street gang that targeted drivers parked at scenic overlooks across Los Angeles County. The gang had allegedly robbed at least four other individuals parked along the Angeles Crest Highway in the days preceding the murder of Munoz.

On July 22 at around 3:30 a.m., the California Highway Patrol responded to what they initially believed to be a traffic collision and discovered Munoz’s damaged sedan off the side of the road. Despite their efforts to provide medical assistance to Munoz, who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds, he tragically succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

Prosecutors suspect that four men, including an unidentified fourth suspect, were involved in the killing.

On July 25, the Pasadena Police Department apprehended Ventura, Cerritos, and Rossel Hernandez after tracking the suspects’ vehicle across multiple cities. Officers surrounded the car in Panorama City and made the arrests at gunpoint, as captured in a video uploaded to YouTube.

Marco Hernandez was taken into custody on August 29, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Inmate Locator. It remains uncertain whether Alvarenga Cortez was arrested at the same time.

Despite a request for comment, a spokesperson for the Pasadena Police Department did not respond to inquiries about the new murder charges.

The department had initially planned a press conference to update the media on the case on August 31 but subsequently canceled it less than an hour later. Although it was stated that a press release would be forthcoming, it has yet to be released, almost a week later.

Investigators suspect that the same group responsible for the Pasadena slaying also committed another robbery-turned-homicide in a beachside parking lot in Rancho Palos Verdes just two days after Munoz’s killing. In that incident, three males approached Jorge Ramos (36) and TaylorRaven Whittaker (26) in a parking lot overlooking Pelican Cove and opened fire on their Subaru, resulting in the deaths of both Ramos and Whittaker.

Previously, investigators had mentioned that a fourth suspect, believed to be a woman, acted as the getaway driver during the crime.

While the Pasadena Police Department focuses on its investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, responsible for the Rancho Palos Verdes case, issued a statement regarding the progress of its own probe. The statement confirmed that the investigation regarding the Palos Verdes homicide is separate from the one being handled by the Pasadena Police Department and emphasized that no arrests have been made thus far.

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