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2 get decades in prison for beating and fatally stabbing a homeless man in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA — Two transients were sentenced Friday for their part in the beating and fatal stabbing of a fellow homeless man in Santa Ana two years ago.

Daniel Rubin Gallegos, 49, was convicted in July 2021 of first-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon, and co-defendant Gustavo Nunez Jr., 34, was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.

Gallegos was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison, and Nunez was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Co-defendant Lisa Marie Herrera, 43, is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon and will be tried at a later date.

The three were charged in connection with the March 21, 2020, attack on 39-year-old Cesar Gamaliel Gonzalez near the entrance to Santiago Park.

Gallegos, Nunez, Herrera and Gonzalez were part of a group of transients who were squatters at a shuttered bank building at 2525 N. Main St. in Santa Ana, Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney said.

The attack allegedly was motivated by false rumors that the victim had raped a girl.

When officers arrived at the crime scene they found Gonzalez, who pointed to the abandoned office building and said his attackers had fled there, Birney said. He also said, “I didn’t rape nobody,” according to Birney.

Gonzalez was stabbed six times and had numerous lacerations to his face, Birney said.

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