A 23-year-old Anaheim man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for the 2014 stabbing murder of a man at a Garden Grove café.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Robert Gabriel Rodgers received a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, plus seven years, in the death of Cesar Ramirez-Raphael, 24.
He had in September 2017 pled guilty to one felony count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, and on Oct. 3, 2017 found guilty of one felony count of first degree murder, along with sentencing enhancements for lying in wait and personal use of a knife.
In the 2014 incident, Rodgers laid in wait outside the business, starting at about 9 a.m. — 30 minutes before the tea house was scheduled to open.
Rodgers was wearing a belt around his neck and toting a backpack containing a hammer, hacksaw, bolt cutters, several screw drivers and 14 large plastic bags. He also took pictures of himself with a Polaroid camera.
Ramirez’s routine was to arrive early, lock himself inside and clean the tea house in preparation for opening. The killer intentionally created a disturbance, perhaps faking an injury, in an effort to lure Ramirez to the front door, the prosecutor said.
When Ramirez unlocked and opened the door, Rodgers immediately lunged at him, and stabbed him repeatedly. A five-minute surveillance video that captured the violent encounter was shown to the jury.
After stabbing Ramirez, Rodgers dragged the victim to the rear of the tea house and started mopping up the crime scene. When Rodgers noticed that Ramirez was still alive and was on the floor attempting to reach for a door, he kicked the victim, the prosecutor said.
Behind the Badge OC contributed to this report.
Categories: Courts & Law