A killer who was extradited from Illinois and later convicted for the mysterious murder of a friend in South Pasadena was sentenced Friday to 50 years to life in prison.

Juan Carlos Perez, 41, of Los Angeles, was convicted last month of first- degree murder for killing Noe Martinez, 35, but authorities never determined a motive for the killing.

Perez ran from a white Toyota Corolla after a South Pasadena police officer patrolling in the 1000 block of Arroyo Drive noticed the car parked on the side of a road with its windows fogged up in the early morning hours of Nov. 21, 2009, said Deputy District Attorney Kevin Keeland.

The officer discovered Martinez slumped over inside the car with two gunshot wounds to the head, the prosecutor said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities found a firearm holster under the driver’s seat and two expended 9 mm casings in the back seat of the car, which was registered to Perez, according to evidence presented at his trial.

Authorities have not determined a motive for the shooting, but the prosecutor said the two men had been at a bar together before the shooting.

Perez was charged in December 2009 with the killing, but remained a fugitive until late 2010, when a law enforcement agency in Illinois ran his fingerprints in its database and learned he was wanted for murder. Perez was subsequently extradited to California.

–City News Service

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