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July 26, 2016: Four Men Convicted of 2012 Long Beach Murder

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Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Four men were convicted yesterday of brutally attacking a man in Riverside County before they kidnapped and killed the victim in Long Beach, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

After three days of deliberations, a jury found Jose Duenas, 23, Christopher Arevalo Ramirez, 24, Rafael Antonio Portales, 25, and Rafael Bravo, 25, guilty of two felony counts in case NA093336: second-degree murder and kidnapping.

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 10 in Department S24 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch. Each defendant faces a life sentence in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Guthrie, who prosecuted the case, said victim Hector Jauregui Campos, 24, was an acquaintance of defendants Duenas, Ramirez and Bravo.

On Sept. 7, 2012, Campos was at a Mira Loma home with Duenas, Ramirez and Bravo when the victim was shot in the back of the head and hit with a sledgehammer on the head by the defendants.

Although Campos was shot and hit in the head while in Mira Loma, the victim did not die, the prosecutor said. According to a witness who testified at trial, Duenas and Ramirez then began beating Campos in the middle of a street. Duenas and Ramirez subsequently put Campos in a car and drove to Long Beach, while Bravo took Campos’ truck and dumped it in Pomona, according to the prosecutor.

Duenas and Ramirez arrived in Long Beach and stopped at an apartment building where Portales appeared, the prosecutor added. Duenas, Ramirez and Portales talked to the victim before they began to beat him again. Duenas then took a shirt, placed it around Campos’ neck and began to strangle the victim, the prosecutor said.

According to an eyewitness, Campos’ body went limp and the three men beat him a second time before they placed his body in the trunk of a vehicle. Ramirez and Portales entered the vehicle and drove to an alleyway where they pulled Campos out of the truck, shot him in the head a second time and left the victim for dead, the prosecutor said.

The witness who viewed the strangling wrote down Ramirez’s license plate number and called police, the prosecutor said. Authorities began to search for the vehicle and caught sight of Ramirez and Portales. The two defendants were pulled over, found with Campos’ blood on them and arrested, the prosecutor said.

During their arrest, a woman was walking through an alleyway when she discovered Campos and called 911. Officials responded to the area and transported the victim to the hospital, where he died the next day, the prosecutor said.

Soon after Ramirez and Portales’ apprehension, authorities received a tip that Bravo was cleaning up the crime scene in Mira Loma, the prosecutor said. Law enforcement visited the Riverside County location and arrested Bravo in connection with the murder. Duenas also was located and arrested at the scene of the strangulation, the prosecutor said.

The case was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.