UPDATED: Woman Found Guilty in Buena Park Motel Murder Case

Leticia Carrasco is charged with murder and second-degree robbery of 42-year-old Matias Ojeda Vazquez, who was killed at the Covered Wagon motel on Dec. 22, 2008.

Updated at 12:15 p.m.: An Orange County jury has convicted a 52-year-old woman of first- degree murder and robbery in the death of a man she lured to a Buena Park motel with a promise of sex for money. Leticia Carrasco's adult son is awaiting trial on a murder charge in the "john's" slaying.

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Verdicts will be announced today in the trial of a woman accused of luring a man back to her room at a Buena Park motel with a promise of sex for money, then watching her son kill him when he resisted being robbed.

The jurors announced just after 4 p.m. Wednesday that they had reached verdicts in the case against Leticia Carrasco. Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals then sent the panel home and ordered that the verdicts be read at 9 a.m.

Carrasco, 52, is charged with murder and second-degree robbery, though jurors had the option of considering a lesser charge of theft.

The defendant's 26-year-old son, Noel Carrasco, is scheduled to go on trial later this year.

Leticia Carrasco's attorney, Deputy Alternate Defender Laura Jose, argued that her client did not know her son would kill 42-year-old Matias Ojeda Vazquez at the Covered Wagon motel.

But Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons argued that Carrasco and her son had discussed robberies in the past, and it was unlikely that they did not plan to commit one the day Vazquez was killed -- Dec. 22, 2008. Leticia Carrasco was "desperate," Simmons said.

"I'm not trying to minimize that. Is it sad? Yes," he told jurors Monday. "But what about that poor man Matias? ... He was brutally murdered, his body was wrapped in a comforter ... dumped off the 15 Freeway."

"That's worse than the way you would dispose of an animal," Simmons said.

The body was found in a blanket a few yards from the Ontario (15) Freeway near the San Bernardino County community of Yermo in January 2009. The Carrascos were arrested in Las Vegas.

Vazquez was missing his shoes, socks and shirt, indicating that he was taking off his clothes before being attacked, Simmons said.

"He thinks he's going to have sex and those are the clothes you take off first," Simmons argued. "She lured someone back to the room for her son to rob. Sadly enough the victim resisted and her son went off on him."

Noel Carrasco was "enraged" that the victim fought back, Simmons said.

Jose argued there was no way to know that happened and it was understandable that Leticia Carrasco would not go to police.

"It's not what you or I would do, but it's understandable," Jose said. "She never, never said she planned to rob Matias Vazquez."

In her interview with police, Leticia Carrasco was "clearly searching for answers" as she tried to make sense of what happened, Jose said.

"She's trying to understand the horror she saw," Jose said.

The prosecution has not proved its case, Jose argued.

"There are so many holes in this evidence you could drive a Mack truck through it," Jose said.


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