Man convicted in murder of woman dumped in Newport Bay to silence her
A Garden Grove man was found guilty by an Orange County Superior Court jury Tuesday of murdering a woman whose body was dumped near the Newport Bay Bridge off Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.
Irvin Tellez, 27, also was convicted of the attempted murder of another woman on the same night two years ago.
Nancy Hammour, 28, was killed on Labor Day 2013 to keep her from talking about an unprovoked gang-related shooting she had just witnessed, according to prosecutors.
During opening statements at the trial, Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Jim Mendelson told jurors that Tellez and another gang member, Jaime Rocha, 42, had been smoking methamphetamine just after midnight on Labor Day before the shootings took place.
Tellez, Rocha and Hammour drove through Hammour’s Santa Ana neighborhood before stopping to talk to a 31-year-old woman none of them knew.
Mendelson said the woman mentioned a gang that claims territory abutting turf claimed by the gang to which Rocha and Tellez were loyal.
“The mere hearing of the Alley Boys caused defendant Tellez to pull out a pistol and shoot her in the face,” Mendelson said in court. The woman survived.
Mendelson said as Rocha sped from the scene, Hammour became hysterical. That is when Tellez shot Hammour in the face.
Prosecutors contended that Hammour survived the first shot, but as Rocha drove south on the 55 Freeway toward Newport Beach Tellez fired again, killing Hammour.
The two men then drove along East Coast Highway before tossing Hammour’s body over the railing of a bridge that spans Newport Bay.
But the body missed the water and was found later that morning face-down in a patch of iceplant 20 feet below the road.
Tellez was found guilty by an Orange County Superior Court jury of one felony count each of first degree murder, attempted murder and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death, personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury, criminal street gang activity, and great bodily injury.
He faces a maximum sentence of 112 years and eight months to life in state prison at his sentencing, set for 9 a.m. Nov. 20 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
Rocha, a Santa Ana resident, pleaded guilty on Sept. 4 to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. Rocha is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 30 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.
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