Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Metrolink killer gets 11 terms of life



STEVE COOLEY District Attorney JOSEPH SCOTT Director
JOHN K. SPILLANE Chief Deputy District Attorney SANDI GIBBONS P.I.O.
JANE ROBISON News Secretary


18-1112 Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center
210 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 974-3525

Aug. 20, 2008

Metrolink killer formally sentenced to spend the remainder of his life in prison

LOS ANGELES – Saying he had shown "no remorse" for killing 11 people who perished in a fiery Metrolink crash 3-1/2 years ago, a Los Angeles judge today imposed 11 terms of life without parole on Juan Manuel Alvarez.

"I don't believe for a moment that you meant to kill yourself," Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders told the 29-year-old defendant. "You've shown no remorse."

Besides the 11 consecutive life-without-parole terms, the judge ordered Alvarez to pay $92,019 to the victim's restitution fund. He additionally imposed a two-year prison term for an arson conviction.

A jury on June 26 convicted Alvarez of 11 counts of first-degree murder and found true the special circumstance of multiple murders. He also was convicted of one count of arson. The same jury on July 15 rejected the prosecution request for the death penalty and instead recommended the defendant be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Six family members of victims spoke before Judge Pounders imposed sentence. The judge told the defendant, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and sporting a newly shaved head, that he did not believe Alvarez cares about the people whose lives were destroyed in different ways by the injuries they suffered in the pre-dawn crash on Jan. 26, 2005.

Besides the 11 deaths, another nearly 200 people were injured in the crash near Chevy Chase Drive. The train was filled with early morning commuters bound for downtown Los Angeles. It was the worst Metrolink disaster since the trains started running in 1992.

Alvarez drove a Jeep Cherokee onto the track and left it there after dousing the SUV with gasoline. He ran away, but was tracked down on the basis of various identification cards found at the scene. Arrested at a friend's home in nearby Atwater Village, Alvarez has remained in custody without bail.
Killed in the crash were James Tutino, 47, a Sheriff's deputy from Simi Valley; Scott McKeoun, 42, of Moorpark; Manuel Alcala, 51, of West Hills; Thomas Ormiston, 58, the train's conductor from Northridge; Leonard Romero, 53, of Rancho Cucamonga; Henry Kilinski, 39, of Orange; Alfonso Caballero, 62, of Winnetka; Julie Bennett, 44, of Simi Valley; Don Wiley, 58, of Simi Valley; Elizabeth Hill, 65; and William Parent, 53, of Simi Valley. Many of the dead worked for various governmental agencies in and around Los Angeles.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys John Monaghan and Cathryn Brougham of the Major Crimes Division.

Sandi Gibbons, Public Information Officer
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
Criminal Justice Center
210 W. Temple St., 18th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90012
Phone: 213-974-3528
Email address:

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