News Releases

November 20, 2015: Man Sentenced to Prison for Covina Murder

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

A 36-year-old man convicted of killing his neighbor was sentenced today to 16 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On May 30, 2014, a jury found Luis Alberto Villaneda guilty of second-degree murder in case KA099258. Additionally, jurors found true a knife allegation.

Deputy District Attorney Lisa Coen, who prosecuted the case, said Villaneda and victim Gonzalo Robles were neighbors on a Covina property. Robles lived in the front house and the defendant resided in the back house.

On Aug. 29, 2012, there was an argument involving Villaneda, Robles, Robles’ girlfriend, and another tenant of the front house. Later that night, Robles believed that their dispute had been resolved, the prosecutor said. However, Villaneda still harbored animosity towards Robles.

The next day, Villaneda’s friend visited his home and the defendant disclosed his anger for Robles. As a result, Villaneda and his friend went to the victim’s home and began to fight with him. During the fight, the defendant pulled out a knife. Villaneda’s friend told him to leave, but the defendant refused, according to the prosecutor.

Robles then tried to get Villaneda to drop the knife. Another tenant threw the victim a smaller knife to protect himself, the prosecutor added.

After Villaneda began swinging at the victim, Robles stabbed the defendant in the shoulder. Then Villaneda fatally stabbed the victim in the heart, the prosecutor said.

Robles, 38, was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities were called and Villaneda was later arrested in connection with the killing. The weapon was never recovered.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.