Three charged with murder in botched robbery on Angeles Crest Highway in Pasadena

A red vehicle, seen from above, on a hillside highway
An aerial view along the Angeles Crest Highway taken on March 30.
(David McNew / Getty Images)
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Three men have been charged with murder and robbery in the July killing of a man on Angeles Crest Highway in Pasadena, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced.

Luis Ventura, 24; Marco Antonio Hernandez, 18; and Abraham Ernesto Alvarenga Cortez, 21, were all charged with two counts of robbery and a single count of murder in the July 22 shooting of Jessie Enrique Munoz, who was in his car on the side of the highway, the district attorney said. The men have also been linked to a double homicide in Rancho Palos Verdes two days later, though they have not been charged in that case.

Mugshots of men
From left to right, Abraham Ernesto Alvarenga Cortez, Marco Antonio Hernandez and Luis Ventura were all charged with two counts of robbery and a single count of murder in the July 22 shooting of Jessie Enrique Munoz off of Angeles Crest Highway above Pasadena.
(Pasadena Police Department)

Six people were arrested in late July in connection with the killing of Munoz, 32, but only Ventura, Antonio Hernandez and Alvarenga Cortez have been charged with murder.

The men allegedly shot Munoz numerous times, causing him to bleed out and die at the scene, according to authorities. A woman in the car with him was robbed but not injured.

The Pasadena Police Department has arrested six suspects who are allegedly connected to recent fatal shootings in Pasadena and Rancho Palos Verdes.

July 26, 2023

Alvarenga Cortez was alleged to be the triggerman in the killing, with prosecutors saying he used a handgun.

It was not clear what role the other two men played.

“The heinous actions that led to the robbery and murder of Mr. Jessie Enrique Munoz is an appalling and reprehensible display of disregard for human life,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said. “Our hearts go out to Mr. Munoz’s family and friends who are coping with the pain of this senseless act, including his female companion who also was a victim of robbery at the time of this crime.”

In the Rancho Palos Verdes killing, a couple sitting at a scenic overlook by the Pacific Ocean were gunned down in another robbery gone wrong, authorities said. The victims in that case were Jorge Ramos, 36, and Taylorraven Whittaker, 26.