A story for every victim

Murder charges filed against 2 men in UCLA student's death

Murder charges were filed Tuesday against two men in connection with the death of a 21-year-old UCLA student whose body was found inside a burning Los Angeles apartment a week ago.

Alberto Medina and Eric Marquez, both 22, each face one count of murder and two counts of burglary, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.

Medina is accused of burglarizing an apartment in the 10900 block of Roebling Street, then entering Andrea DelVesco's apartment and fatally stabbing her, according to the complaint.

Medina also faces a separate felony arson charge. He is accused of maliciously setting a fire inside DelVesco's apartment, according to the complaint filed by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The pair are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in L.A. County Superior Court.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said there was a “considerable amount” of forensic evidence in the case, along with statements from witnesses, linking Marquez and Medina, who are both college students, to DelVesco's death.

Police arrested Medina on Saturday at his home in Fresno, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Marquez, who is also a UCLA student, was arrested the next day near his apartment in Westwood.

Beck said he was not yet aware of any relationship his detectives had established between the victim and her alleged killers, whom his detectives believe acted alone.

“Certainly that will be something the detectives look at,” he said.

Beck declined to comment further about the specifics of the case, saying it was a “complicated investigation” that he wanted to protect.

He said detectives could share more information after charges were filed.

“This was a horrific crime that I know shocked the school and much of Los Angeles. I was also extremely troubled by it,” he said. “I think the detectives did a magnificent job in making the arrests so soon. I know that I am sleeping more comfortably at night and the public should also.”

The LAPD has remained tight-lipped about its investigation, even as reports surfaced that DelVesco may have been killed before the fire began.

Detectives canvassed the neighborhood with fliers last week, asking the public for help.

DelVesco’s mother declined to comment Tuesday.

Melanie Peskett, the victim’s aunt, said DelVesco's relatives were overwhelmed with grief. The family, she said, was glad the two young men believed to be responsible were in custody.

Court records showed DelVesco was arrested and charged this summer with drug possession. She pleaded not guilty to the charges and was scheduled to appear in court last week, the district attorney’s office said.

Marquez was studying biology at UCLA, the university said Monday. Medina was not affiliated with the school.

The Fresno Bee reported that Medina was studying psychology and social work at Fresno State University. Medina’s father, Jose Medina, said his son told him that “he didn’t do it.”

-- Times staff writer Stephen Ceasar contributed to this report.

Post a comment

Before you post, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Remember, all posts are approved by a Times staffer. Profanity and personal attacks will not be approved.


One reader comment