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Man Gets 31 Years to Life for Escondido Stabbing, House Fire

Man Gets 31 Years to Life for Escondido Stabbing, House Fire

File photo of a judge's gavel. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

8/30/2023

Updated: 8/30/2023

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VISTA, Calif.—A man convicted of stabbing another man multiple times inside an Escondido home, then setting the residence ablaze with the victim still inside, was sentenced on Aug. 30 to 31 years to life in state prison.
Jose Trinidad Romero, 35, was found guilty by a Vista jury earlier this month of first-degree murder and arson for the killing of 50-year-old Procopio Blanco Cervantes, who was found by firefighters inside a burning Waverly Place home on Oct. 4, 2020.
Prosecutors alleged surveillance footage captured Mr. Romero and Cervantes entering the home together, then Mr. Romero leaving the home moments before it went up in flames.
As firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, Cervantes was found lying in the home’s kitchen with multiple stab wounds, prosecutors alleged. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Escondido police.
Mr. Romero was arrested a few days later.
A motive for the killing was not disclosed, but at Mr. Romero’s arraignment in late 2020, a prosecutor alleged the men had a dispute over property that was left behind at the residence.
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