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Montague Cervantez Mercado, 47

Montague Cervantez Mercado, a 47-year-old Latino, was beaten to death Saturday, Aug. 26, in the 42000 block of North Sierra Highway in Palmdale, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

An off-duty canine officer with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was driving north on Sierra Highway, approaching East Avenue M, when he saw Mercado and another man walking along the shoulder of the road about 9:05 a.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said. 

Mercado’s companion was carrying a piece of wood, about the size of a baseball bat, Mendoza said. While the officer watched, the man swung the wood and struck Mercado in the head.

When Mercado fell, Mendoza said, his companion — Daniel Nathan Nosch — continued beating him.

The officer immediately stopped his car, detained Nosch and tried to assist Mercado until help arrived, Mendoza said, 

Mercado was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:36 a.m.

Nosch, a 39-year-old white man, was arrested that morning and charged with murder on Aug. 28, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 12. 

Nosch and Mercado were homeless acquaintances living in the Lancaster/Palmdale area, Mendoza said, but investigators don’t know what prompted the beating. 

Nosch is being held in lieu of $2.01 million bail.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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