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Santa Ana man convicted in 2015 murder of escort at Newport Beach office complex

Orange County Superior Court's Central Justice Center.
Nain Issac Nieto Hernandez, 36, was convicted Wednesday for the second-degree murder of 23-year-old Sarai Alcaraz in a Newport Beach office complex in 2015.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Nain Issac Nieto Hernandez, 36, was convicted Wednesday afternoon of the second-degree murder of a 23-year-old escort, Sarai Alcaraz, in a Newport Beach office complex in 2015 — bringing to a close a two-week long trial and two days of deliberation.

Hernandez, who faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life, is scheduled to be sentenced by Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard King at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Oct. 7.

Prosecutor Robert Goodkin could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors said Hernandez murdered Alcaraz on the night of Dec. 28, 2015. Hernandez hired Alcaraz and arranged for her to arrive at a Newport Beach office complex on Campus Drive after seeing an advertisement on backpage.com for Cyren Entertainment, an adult entertainment agency that Alcaraz worked for.

Hernandez had access to the building as he was a janitor there.

Alcaraz was accompanied to the scene by driver Jordan Beltran, who parked farther away from the building where Alcaraz was found after Hernandez requested no driver.

Alcaraz reportedly entered the building after 10 p.m. and was inside for about nine minutes. At the seven-minute mark, investigators said she texted Beltran that she received a cancellation fee from Hernandez, but she never exited the building.

Cyren Entertainment manager Lynda Estrada reported Alcaraz as missing to Newport Beach police after she did not respond to any messages or calls. Alcaraz was later found in a trash can in a janitor’s closet inside of the office complex, and authorities said she died of multiple blunt force injuries to the head.

Hernandez’s defense attorney, Cameron Talley, contended throughout the trial that Alcaraz’s death was an accident and that Hernandez did not intentionally harm her.

Talley said Wednesday he respected the jury’s decision.

“They worked hard and they were a hung jury at one point, which shows the facts and the law made this a very difficult case,” said Talley. “Ultimately, this was what they decided.”

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