1 minute read

Gabriel Gomez Trial: 2000

Gomez Reveals Burial Site

After two hours of deliberations, the jury found Gomez guilty on October 31. Outside the court, Cesar Rosas tearfully told reporters that Gomez "didn't just hurt me. He hurt hundreds of people." In spite of his family's suffering, Rosas expressed relief that Gomez would no longer be in a position to harm anyone else. On November 16, Gomez was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole on the murder charge, plus an additional 16 years for the kidnapping conviction. Judge Robert Martinez also added five years to the sentence for Gomez's unfulfilled 1989 arson sentence and a year for a drug arrest, for which he was liable due to his parole violation and conviction on the Rosas felonies. Judge Martinez told Gomez to consider helping investigators find Sandra Rosas' body to offer her family some closure from their trauma.

As soon as the sentencing was over, Gomez told a San Gabriel Valley Tribune reporter that if he had indeed killed Rosas, he had been too intoxicated with alcohol and cocaine to recall a murder or a burial. Yet within minutes, Gomez suddenly agreed to lead police to Rosas' body. Investigators spent the evening searching for a gravesite in Schabarum Regional Park near the Rosas home, without success. A few days later, Gomez told Judge Martinez that the body might be in a different park in rural Santa Clarita, 50 miles northwest of where he originally had steered investigators. On November 22, police and canine search squads discovered human bones in a shallow Sand Park grave. Family members identified jewelry, a hair clip, and nail polish found with the remains. Five days later, dental records officially confirmed that the bones were those of Sandra Rosas. She was buried in a private service soon thereafter, allowing her family the opportunity to heal, denied them by her killer for a year.

Tom Smith

Suggestions for Further Reading

"About the Sandra Rosas Case: The Basic Story." http://www.loslobos.org/sandra.asp.

Cain, Stephanie. "Killer of Rosas Given Life, No Parole." San Gabriel Valley Tribune. http://www.sgvtribune.com.

Cholo, Ann Beatriz. "Jury Convicts Man in Slaying of Singer's Wife." Los Angeles Times (November 1, 2000): B2.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentGabriel Gomez Trial: 2000 - Victim's Half-brother Arrested, Circumstantial Evidence Weighed, Gomez Reveals Burial Site, Suggestions For Further Reading