News

Man Sentenced to Life Without Parole for San Diego Murder, Attempted Murder

Man Sentenced to Life Without Parole for San Diego Murder, Attempted Murder

A gavel is seen in a file photo. (Demetrius Freeman/Pool/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

7/14/2023

Updated: 7/14/2023

SAN DIEGO—A man who pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder charges for his part in a 2018 South Bay crime spree that left one man dead and a woman paralyzed after she was shot multiple times was sentenced this week to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Cesar Alvarado, 44, admitted to fatally shooting Mario Serhan on April 11, 2018, who he and his co-defendants mistakenly believed was an undercover police officer surveilling them in Chula Vista. Mr. Alvarado also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a woman whom prosecutors said was kidnapped, then shot multiple times at Sunset Cliffs.
Co-defendant Britney Canal, 34, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced last year to 30 years to life in prison.
A third defendant, Michael Pedraza, 33, remains charged with murder, attempted murder, and other crimes, while another co-defendant, 33-year-old Francisco Aranda, pleaded guilty to other charges and was sentenced to five years in state prison.
Prosecutors say Mr. Alvarado, Ms. Canal and Mr. Pedraza were in a car that followed Mr. Serhan’s SUV along Industrial Boulevard on the afternoon of April 11. Canal was driving the vehicle, which pulled up next to Mr. Serhan. Mr. Alvarado then shot the victim in the head, prosecutors say.
A woman who was in the backseat of Ms. Canal’s vehicle during Mr. Serhan’s murder was taken to Sunset Cliffs at about 2 a.m. on April 12, accused of being a “snitch,” then allegedly shot three times by Mr. Pedraza. The woman, who prosecutors said had been robbed and kidnapped by the defendants earlier that week, was shot in the head and hip, with a third bullet going through her neck and striking her spinal cord, paralyzing her.
The defendants were arrested a few days after Mr. Serhan’s killing following a police pursuit that stretched from San Ysidro to National City.
At the time, police and prosecutors also said the defendants were involved in a string of other crimes, including another shooting, a second kidnapping and multiple robberies.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.