Juan Yepez Martinez, a 34-year-old Santa Ana man, pleaded guilty Friday and will be spending 25 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a fellow Santa Ana resident, Carlos Sanchez Benitez, 40-years-old, back in 2020.
Martinez has been in custody since July 20, 2020. He accepted charges of second-degree murder and a sentencing enhancement in the killing of Benitez.
The SAPD responded to a report of a gunshot victim in a vehicle in the 500 block of South Flower Street, just before 12:25 a.m. on July 20, 2020.
The responding police officers found Benitez slumped over the wheel of a car with gunshot wounds to his upper body, He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Martinez and Benitez apparently had some sort of ongoing personal dispute, according to the SAPD.
SAPD police detectives recovered a rifle that they believe was the murder weapon, while executing a search warrant.