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Santa Maria man pleads guilty to 2021 first-degree murder changing initial not guilty plea

SANTA MARIA, Calif.– The Santa Barbara County District Attorney announced Erik Rocha Fernandez has pled guilty to the 2021 first-degree murder of Frankie Hernandez in Santa Maria.

Fernandez was arrested in June of 2021 for the May 28 murder of Hernandez who was found in his car with multiple gunshot wounds, while trying to drive away from the scene. Fernandez did initially enter a not-guilty plea.

The DA says "Fernandez pled guilty to one felony count of first-degree murder and admitted an enhancement for intentionally and personally using a firearm which caused the death", as well, as an additional attempted murder charge and conspiracy to commit witness intimidation by force or fear.

Fernandez will be sentenced to 10 years followed by 25 years to life in the state prison on May 5 in a Santa Maria courtroom.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
Santa Barbara

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Drew Ascione

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