A 30-year-old Soledad man with two strikes has been convicted of first-degree murder and residential burglary for fatally shooting the mother of his child at her home in Greenfield last year, Monterey County prosecutors said Wednesday.
At the end of his jury trial, which lasted more than two weeks, Ernesto Hernandez was also found guilty of committing the murder while lying in wait and using a firearm. Prosecutors said that on March 29, 2016 Hernandez was caught on security cameras throughout Greenfield following 19-year-old Abigail Gasca-Chavez in a car, then confronting her outside her home.
He later drove past the house and entered through an unlocked door, waiting just over 15 minutes for her to come home with a 2-year-old child before fleeing the scene, which was also caught on camera. Family members found her body roughly 25 minutes later with seven gunshot wounds to the head and face, after a neighbor found her child crying outside alone.
Prosecutors said that Hernandez fled to Los Angeles and bought a bus ticket to Texas, where he crossed the border into Mexico. He was subsequently arrested and extradited back to California to face charges. Hernandez returns to court for a hearing on Oct. 20 to determine whether he has two prior strikes for 2005 convictions on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. When sentenced, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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