News Releases

November 20, 2014: Pair Plead Not Guilty to Murder at Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet

Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer

A second defendant was arraigned today in connection with the fatal stabbing of a woman at a Santa Fe Springs swap meet, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. 

Reggie Cervantes (dob 1/18/92) pleaded not guilty to two felony counts: murder and assault with a deadly weapon in case VA137338. Cervantes’ codefendant, Brenda Jasmine Rangel (dob 9/13/95), pleaded not guilty to the same charges on Oct. 21. 

The felony complaint includes a special allegation that Cervantes personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, in the commission of the crime. 

Additionally, the charging document alleges that Cervantes was previously convicted of second-degree robbery in 2009 and receiving stolen property in 2010. 

Deputy District Attorney Andrea Mader, who is prosecuting the case, said on Oct. 17 the victim, Elizabeth Yanez, drove to a Santa Fe Springs swap meet with her two adult children. 

As the family was looking for a parking spot, Yanez reportedly got into an argument with Cervantes and Rangel, who were in a separate vehicle. 

At some point, Cervantes exited his car and attempted to stab Yanez’s son, but was unsuccessful, the prosecutor said. Cervantes then allegedly walked over to Yanez and stabbed her.  

After the assault, Cervantes and Rangel fled the scene. Authorities were called and Yanez was taken to a hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.  

A day after the stabbing, police located Cervantes and Rangel and arrested them in connection with the killing. 

The two defendants are scheduled to return to court on Dec. 15 for a preliminary hearing at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Norwalk in Department J. 

If convicted as charged, each faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. 

The case is being investigated by the Whittier Police Department.