ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
Case # 18CF0058
Date: January 3, 2018
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
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
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson