Briefs judge

Published on January 2nd, 2014 | by Zamná Ávila

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Strangle and Fire Suspects Get Pretrial Hearing

Adrian Berumen and Jose Angel Martinez, both 18, are scheduled for a pretrial hearing, Jan. 31 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Long Beach.

The hearing is related to the murder of a 42-year-old man in April in Rancho Palos Verdes.  Berumen and Martinez are accused of strangling and setting Christopher Waters, who they had hired to do silkscreen t-shirts, on fire.

In December both men plead not guilty to the murder and answer. They are being held on more than $1 million in bail.
Both defendants are being held on more than $1 million bail and are looking at 15-to-life in prison.

On April 23, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call regarding a fire at a basketball court in Rancho Palos Verdes. Officers found a body in the back of a car as they were extinguishing the fire. Waters was found bound. Officials say the cause of death was asphyxiation. Berumen turned himself in. Investigators found the victim’s  dry blood in the garage at Berumen’s home — they believe he was killed in Berumen’s garage.

Officials said that Berumen and Martinez had a business relationship with Waters. They had hired him to provide silk-screen T-shirts before they killed him. Berumen also faces an attempted murder charge on an unrelated case, officials added.

Both men are facing a minimum of 15-years-to-life in prison.

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