The elder half of a father-son duo who managed for nine years to remain free after murdering one human smuggler and leaving a second for dead has received double life prison sentences.
Like a baddie undone by Shaggy and Scooby, 60-year-old Manuel Hernandez Juarez could have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for his son telling Oregon cops about the Santa Ana shootings in 2000 after getting picked up for DUI. At the time Juarez's son spilled the beans, dead ol' dad was moments away from being deported.
Manuel Hernandez Juarez Faces 57 Years in Prison Because Son Admitted to Murder 9 Years Later
Juarez was living in Santa Ana in April 2000 when he agreed to pay $1,500 to Victor Manuel Camacho and Jose Luz Garcia to
bring a group that included his son Huber Juarez Vasquez across the border illegally. They
picked a spot behind a Santa Ana Burger King as the drop-off spot.
What the coyotes did not know was the elder Juarez had stolen a legal
resident's identity, using it to obtain a California's driver's license
and two guns that he had hidden behind the B.K.
When he first locked
eyes on his son on the drop-off date, he slipped his pride and joy one
gun and used to other to shoot Camacho in the chest. Camacho died right
there. Huber Vasquez shot Garcia in the abdomen before the father and son fled. Neither realized they had left
behind a survivor.
It remained a cold-case
shootings until Huber in September 2009 made his confession to the Oregon cops, who alerted their Santa Ana counterparts. Juarez was then traced to a Kern County detention facility where he was awaiting deportation after completing a sentence on an unrelated crime. An immigration hold was immediately granted.
Huber, of Woodland, Ore., was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison last March.
Orange County Superior Court Judge W. Michael Hayes sentenced Juarez Friday to 50 years to life in prison, which holds out the possibility for parole but Huber's Old Man will be a very old man before he gets to even apply.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.