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Santa Ana man sentenced in transient's beating death

Jorge Alejandro Lopez

May 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Santa Ana man was sentenced Friday for the beating death of a homeless man in 2010.

Jorge Alejandro Lopez, 35, was found guilty in March of second-degree murder. He was sentenced Friday to 16 years to life in state prison.

Lopez is accused of walking into a homeless encampment at about 11:30 a.m. on July 17, 2010 and punching Marco Nieto, 36, in the face without provocation, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Nieto fell to the ground. Lopez then kicked and stomped on Nieto's head while he lay defenseless, according to the OCDA. Lopez then picked up a 16-pound concrete boulder, raised it over his head and slammed it into the victim's chest, then fled scene, according to the DA.

Nieto died at the scene.

Lopez is semi-transient, according to the DA. Nieto was married and was father to a teenage daughter.