Homeless man charged with murdering a Santa Ana woman while trying to rape her




ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE

Case # 18CF0058



Date: January 3, 2018

TRANSIENT MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER DURING ATTEMPTED RAPE AFTER VIOLENTLY ASSAULTING 76-YEAR-OLD HOMELESS WOMAN IN SANTA ANA

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A transient man is scheduled to be arraigned today for special circumstances murder during attempted rape after violently assaulting a 76-year-old homeless woman in Santa Ana.

Defendant: Rosendo Xo Pec, 22, Transient

Charged today with:

  • One felony count of murder
  • Sentencing Enhancement
  • Special circumstances – murder during rape

Minimum Sentence: Life in state prison without the possibility of parole

Arraignment: Jan. 3, 2018, time to be determined at Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Betty Jane Willis

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Jan. 1, 2018, at approximately 4:15 a.m., Pec is accused of approaching 76-year-old Betty Jane Willis (a former soul singer and retired postal service worker) as she slept in a strip mall parking lot on First Street in Santa Ana.
  • The defendant is accused of removing the victim’s blanket and sexually assaulting the woman in an attempt to rape her.
  • Willis began to scream for help and Pec is accused of punching her multiple times in the head and choking her to prevent her from yelling.
  • A witness called 911 and Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers, along with emergency medical personnel, responded to the scene.
  • Pec is accused of having his pants down and being on top of the victim when officers arrived.
  • The defendant is further accused of hiding and running away from SAPD officers, who quickly detained and arrested the defendant.
  • Willis was pronounced dead at the scene. Her cause of death is still under investigation.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney, Homicide Unit

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TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney

Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

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