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July 29, 2015: Three More Charged in 2002 Kidnap-Murder Of Montebello Girl

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Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
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Three men have been charged with the 2002 murder of a 15-year-old Montebello girl who was kidnapped on her way to school, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Eddie Chavira (dob 2/4/85), Daniel Cervantes (dob 3/12/80) and George Barraza (dob 3/28/80) are charged along with co-defendant Rosemary Chavira (dob 7/3/87) in case BA434138, said Deputy District Attorneys Victor Avila and Eileen Kim, who are prosecuting the case.

The complaint alleges that on or between Oct. 7, 2002, and Oct. 18, 2002, Eddie Chavira was in custody for a shooting witnessed by victim Brenda Sierra’s relative. Chavira told a fellow Lott gang member that he was going to have other Lott gang members take care of witnesses. About the same time, he contacted his 15-year-old sister, Rosemary Chavira, to assist in getting other gang members to take care of witnesses.

On Oct. 18, 2002, 15-year-old Brenda Sierra was kidnapped on her way to Schurr High School in Montebello. She was raped and killed. Her body was discovered the next day in the San Bernardino Mountains. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. The victim had no ties to gangs, prosecutors said.

Rosemary Chavira, Cervantes and Barraza are charged with one count each of murder, conspiracy to dissuade a witness and forcible rape with the special circumstances of felony murder during commission of a kidnapping and to further a street gang.

Eddie Chavira, currently in prison on an unrelated manslaughter conviction, is charged with one count each of murder and conspiracy to intimidate a witness.

Rosemary Chavira, who pleaded not guilty in March, returns to court on Aug. 4 to set a date for her preliminary hearing. Because she was a minor at the time of the murder, she faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged. Eddie Chavira faces 25 years to life if convicted as charged.

Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek death against Cervantes and Barraza.

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

Arraignment for Eddie Chavira and Cervantes will be announced at a later date. Barraza is a fugitive.