A state appeals court panel Friday upheld a man’s conviction for fatally shooting and stabbing a maintenance worker near a Target store parking lot in Van Nuys.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in Erick Renteria’s trial.
A jury in Van Nuys convicted Renteria in November 2016 of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
The case stemmed from the July 22, 2014, stabbing and shooting death of Francisco Miguel, who was part of a crew that was pressure-washing the store parking lot at Sepulveda Boulevard and Hatteras Street.
The 48-year-old victim suffered four gunshot wounds and 10 stab wounds while working near a company truck that was parked on the street.
One of the other workers saw Miguel fall to the ground, and the victim said repeatedly in Spanish that he had been shot. As the victim’s co-worker was calling 911, Renteria walked past him carrying a long knife and stabbed Miguel, according to the ruling.
Renteria was making a stabbing motion toward a person inside a company water truck when police arrived and ordered him out of the vehicle, and he “aggressively resisted the officers’ attempts to handcuff him,” according to the ruling. It took five officers to take him into custody, according to the ruling.
Miguel, who died at a hospital, “was just a hard-working guy who appeared to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Los Angeles police Detective Robert Bub said shortly after the killing.
Renteria was sentenced in June 2017 to 50 years to life in state prison, but the appellate court panel ruled that the case should be sent back to the trial court as the result of a new state law that gives judges the discretion to strike certain firearm enhancements.