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Valley Village murder suspect pleads guilty

June 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The suspect in the murder of a woman in Valley Village last summer pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in court in Van Nuys.

It was a very emotional courtroom proceeding Tuesday. Eight of Chere Osmanhodzic's friends and family members spoke inside the courtroom. Her mother held a large photo of her on her lap while fighting back tears.

The entire time the suspect Omar Loera never looked at them.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge Jessica Silvers read the charges. Loera, 34, pleaded guilty to the murder charge and admitted to special circumstances of murder while committing a residential robbery.

On July 24, 2010, Osmandhodzic, 34, was attacked after returning to her Valley Village home. She had been shopping for a wedding dress with her mother and her fiance, Adam Culvey. Culvey dropped Chere off and went to the grocery store.

When he returned home, he found the intruder and chased him, but the suspect got away. Osmandhodzic, whom he was to marry in two months time, had been stabbed to death and the home was set on fire.

DNA evidence links Loera to the crime. He was taken into custody last October in Mexicali, Mexico, after a massive manhunt.

Tuesday Loera accepted the punishment of life in prison. He pleaded guilty to avoid facing the death sentence.

"My life is never, and will never, be the same," said Osmandhodzic's mother, Gayle Cameron. "There's no more phone calls, hugs, kisses, 'I love yous.' My holidays and birthdays are sadness because of her absence. There will be no grandchildren to ever spoil."

"I cannot undo what's done," said Loera. "I will give my life, right now as we speak, if I could take it back. I can't do that. I'm sorry I put them through all of this."

"He took my daughter's life," said Mike Cameron, Osmandhodzic's father. "There was no reason for somebody to break into the house during a burglary and then stab her and to set the house on fire, is ridiculous. There was no point in doing that crap, and he's destroyed so many lives."

Prosecutors could have sought the death penalty in this case but as a part of the plea agreement, Omar Loera will get life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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