Two Men Arrested for 30-Year-Old Rowland Heights Murder

Gilbert Leal, 51, and Marcelino Corona, 49, are suspected in the August 1982 murder of Richard Hernandez and the assault of Daniel Ontiveros.

Two of three men suspected of killing one man and permanently disabling another during a fight 30 years ago in Rowland Heights Park will stand trial for murder and assault.

Gilbert Leal, 51, was arrested in July and appeared in court Nov. 9 on charges related to the murder and assault. The second suspect, Marcelino Corona, 49, was arrested Thursday. Both are in custody awaiting trial for the Aug. 8, 1982 murder of Richard Hernandez and the assault of Daniel Ontiveros.

On the morning of the murder, 20-year-old Hernandez and 19-year-old Ontiveros were in the park at 1500 Banida Ave. at 1 a.m. visiting with two female friends when they were allegedly approached by three males who challenged them to a fight.  Both young men declined to fight and continued talking to the two women, according to a news release.

A few minutes after the initial confrontation, the three suspects allegedly attacked the two victims with weapons. Hernandez was beaten, stabbed, and later died from his injuries, authorities said.  Ontiveros, who was beaten and struck in the head, suffered permanent brain damage.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau detectives were able to identify the three suspects in 1982 but discovered they had fled to Mexico to evade capture. The detectives obtained arrest warrants for all three suspects.

In July, law enforcement officials found Leal in Riverside County and arrested him on the warrant.  The case was transferred to the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau, Unsolved Unit.

On Nov. 9, Leal was "held to answer" at a preliminary hearing in West Covina Superior Court for Hernandez' murder and Ontiveros' assault. Judge Injejikian, based on the evidence presented at the hearing, included one count of aggravated mayhem against Leal because of the permanent injuries Ontiveros sustained.

On Thursday, detectives found out that the second suspect, Corona, might be staying in the San Bernardino area and living under an assumed alias. They obtained a search warrant for a residence in Fontana and arrested Corona without incident, authorities said.  Corona was booked in the Los Angeles County jail system.  Both suspects are awaiting trial on charges of murder, assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated mayhem.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.


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