Man convicted of shooting friend in the head in 2009
A 41-year-old man who shot his friend in the head and then eluded police for months was convicted July 14 of murder, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
A jury deliberated for a little over two hours before finding Juan Carlos Perez guilty of first-degree murder for the 2009 slaying of Noe Martinez-Quinone, 35. Jurors also found true a special allegation that Perez used a gun to commit the crime.
Prosecutors said that on Nov. 21, 2009, Perez and Martinez-Quinone went to a baby shower then met up with friends at a bar. About 2 a.m. the next day, they left in Perez’s white Toyota Corolla.
In the early morning of Nov. 22, 2009, a South Pasadena police officer on patrol saw the Corolla with fogged windows parked on the side of the road, prosecutors said.
The officer parked behind the Corolla and approached the vehicle. Suddenly, Perez stepped out of the driver's side and fled on foot, prosecutors said. The officer found Martinez-Quinone slumped in the car with two gunshot wounds to the head, according to prosecutors. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:30 a.m., according to coroner’s records.
Authorities found a firearm holster under the driver’s seat and two expended 9-millimeter casings in the backseat, according to evidence presented at trial. It is not clear why Perez shot Martinez-Quinone. During the trial, prosecutors did not argue a motive.
Following the investigation, prosecutors filed a case for an arrest warrant on Dec. 10, 2009, however, Perez was still at large.
In late 2010, law enforcement authorities in Illinois arrested Perez on an unrelated charge. When authorities ran Perez’s fingerprints in their database, they discovered he was wanted on a murder charge in California.
Perez was subsequently extradited to Los Angeles to stand trial for Martinez-Quinone’s killing.
He is scheduled to return to court Aug. 11 for sentencing and faces up to 50 years to life in state prison.