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Justo Morales
  • Death date
  • March 30, 2008

Justo Morales, 25 [Updated]

Justo Cesar Morales, a 25-year-old Latino, was shot multiple times at his home in the 2200 block of Canyon Road in Arcadia about 1:40 p.m. Sunday, March 30.

According to the Arcadia Police Department, officers responded to a radio call of shots fired. The officers searched the area and later found Morales dead from gunshot wounds near his front door.

On Wednesday, April 2, police arrested Brandon Michael Landreth, a 30-year-old Latino, on suspicion of killing Morales.

According to Sgt. Dean Caputo, Landreth became jealous over his ex-wife's relationship with Morales. Caputo said Landreth and his ex-wife divorced last year.

Police believe that Landreth drove to Morales' home Sunday to confront him. Caputo said Landreth parked his car a few houses away, then rode a skateboard to the house, knocked on the door, then shot Morales after he opened the door.

Landreth fled the area in his car, authorities said. Caputo said Landreth, a history teacher at John Muir High School in Pasadena, and his ex-wife have two children.

[Updated Jan. 19, 2011: Michael Landreth pleaded no contest Jan. 11 to first-degree murder, according to a Los Angeles County district attorney's news release.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Russell Moore said the defendant also admitted using a handgun to carry out the killing.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dorothy Shubin said Landreth would be sentenced Feb. 22. Under terms of a negotiated settlement, he is expected to be sentenced to 35 years to life in prison.]

[Updated March 1, 2011: According to a news release from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dorothy Shubin sentenced Landreth to 35 years to life in state prison.]

-- Sarah Ardalani

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