News Details

Subway Murder Trial Concludes

Posted On: May 8, 2014

The jury in the murder of Joseph Molina, who was working at the Subway Sandwich Shop at Beverly Blvd and Norwalk on December 10th, 2004 has come back with a verdict of guilty after just two hours Wednesday.  Over the last several months, the jury has heard testimony from numerous witnesses and officers regarding the actions of Leonardo Cisneros, 29, who brutally murdered Molina during a robbery.  Cisneros was also convicted of the murder of Dianqui Wu, 50, of Rowland Heights during a robbery of Wu in a San Gabriel parking lot.  Three other defendants entered their plea in an agreement with the prosecution to testify truthfully as witnesses; Jose Resendez, 36, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of Wu; Bernadette Covera, 32, pled guilty to second-degree murder and robbery of Molina; and Mitzie Ann Oso, 35, pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the murder of Wu and Molina.  The fourth defendant, Sarah Lopez, 30, pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact in Wu’s death.  The first three defendants will be sentenced on June 2nd and are facing sentences of 15 years to life in prison, with Oso expecting eight.  Lopez was sentenced to three years of probation.

Cisneros will enter the penalty phase on Monday.  The prosecution is seeking the death penalty after the jury convicted him of 21 counts of robbery or attempted robbery, including two counts of first degree murder in which the jury also found him to be the one who pulled the trigger in both murders.   It was also found true the special circumstances of multiple murders, personal use of a firearm, and murder in the course of a robbery.  The crimes committed by Cisneros in 2004 were committed in Whittier, El Monte, Alhambra, South Pasadena, San Gabriel, and San Marino.  The Whittier police department committed a large amount of resources over the last 10 years toward Cisneros’ arrest, trial and conviction with numerous officers and detectives testifying in this recent trial.  Whittier police Lt. Jay Tatman, who was the homicide detective at the time of the murders in 2004, took the lead with the prosecution, assisting them in coordinating the testimony of witnesses from all over Southern California and the respective law enforcement agencies in which these crimes were committed.