Crime

California Man Sentenced To 13 Years In Prison For Stabbing Woman To Death Over Parking Space Dispute

| by Karin Sun
Elizabeth Yanez.Elizabeth Yanez.

A California man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for stabbing a woman to death over a parking space dispute.

Reggie Cervantes, 23, received the prison sentence in a Los Angeles County court on Jan. 5, KTLA reports. He was convicted on Aug. 14, 2015, on one count of felony voluntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of local woman Elizabeth Yanez.

The charges against Cervantes arose from an incident on Oct. 17, 2014, when he and Yanez, 43, got into an argument over a parking space at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet flea market in the city of Whittier, near Los Angeles. 

Yanez was visiting the flea market with her two adult children at the time.

After the dispute became heated, Cervantes reportedly got out of his car and first tried to stab Yanez's son before attacking Yanez and stabbing her multiple times in the neck and back.

Police responding to the scene transported Yanez to University of California-Irvine Medical Center, where she later died, according to a KTLA article from 2014.

Cervantes and a 19-year-old female companion, Brenda Rangel, were arrested the next day after police identified them from fingerprints they left on the victim's car. Both were initially charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon. The charges against Rangel were dropped at a preliminary hearing, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Cervantes has a prior criminal record, including convictions for second-degree robbery in 2009 and for receiving stolen property exceeding $950 in value in 2010.

Yanez's children, who witnessed the incident, told KTLA that the situation escalated extremely quickly.

"It went from 1 to 10 in a matter of seconds," the woman's son, Daniel Crable, said. "The next thing you know this man was out of his car."

"It doesn't make sense to me," Yanez's daughter, Renee Crable, added. "For a parking space, it was just uncalled for. I mean I just don't understand how … I'm supposed to go on with my life now."

Knives and other sharp objects were used in about 6 percent of violent crimes committed between 1993 and 2001, according to data reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Sources: KTLA (2), Bureau of Justice Statistics / Photo credit: KTLA, 6 ABC