News Releases

February 27, 2017: Man Sentenced to Prison for Killing Girlfriend, Dumping Body in Canyon

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

A 40-year-old man was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend and dumping her body in Hacienda Heights six years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Feb. 24, a jury found Francisco Nila Rojas guilty of first-degree murder in case KA094021. Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendant personally and intentionally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a gun, which caused great bodily injury and death.

Deputy District Attorney Babette Huley of the Victim Impact Program, who prosecuted the case, said on Feb. 18, 2011, Rojas shot his girlfriend, Claudia Tecuautzin, 41, in the head.

The defendant then dumped Tecuautzin’s body near Turnbull Canyon Road and Skyline Drive in Hacienda Heights. The victim’s body was discovered less than a month after she was killed, the prosecutor added.

Five days after the killing, Rojas fled from the United States and went to Mexico. In October 2015, Rojas was located and extradited to Los Angeles County to face criminal prosecution for the killing.

According to evidence presented at trial, Rojas stole money from Tecuautzin’s bank accounts before and after she was killed. Additionally, a Ford Explorer that Rojas and the victim co-owned contained remnants of the victim’s blood. Also, the car’s passenger floor was bleached, the prosecutor said.

Moreover, Rojas purchased a gun on Feb. 12, 2011. The same gun was consistent with bullet fragments recovered from the victim's head, according to expert testimony.

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