Man convicted of fatally shooting Santee woman during burglary, robbery

Leticia Arroyo Reyes (Credit: family)

EL CAJON — A man who fatally shot a woman in her Santee home during a burglary, robbery in which he stole her drugs was convicted Friday of first-degree murder and special circumstances of murder during a burglary, robbery and while lying in wait.

Jose Luis Nunez Torres, 23, faces life in prison without parole plus 25 years to life when he is sentenced Nov. 9.

Deputy District Attorney James Koerber told a jury that Torres got an acquaintance, Jaen Avila, to drive him to Leticia Arroyo’s home on Oct. 4, 2016.

Koerber said Torres — who had bought drugs from the victim before — had a secret plan to ambush her and steal methamphetamine.

The prosecutor said Torres shot Arroyo in the head, then stole one or more bags of meth before fleeing.

Defense attorney Michael Hawkins said it was Avila who shot Arroyo, but Avila’s attorney said her client was so scared after the murder he didn’t talk about it. Avila eventually pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact for being the getaway driver. He faces up to three years in prison.

Torres was also convicted of breaking into a La Jolla home on Oct. 12, 2016, with accomplice Gustavo Ceron, and robbing the resident.

The victim testified that he heard a noise and found two men in his kitchen, and one of them put a gun to his head before leaving with $20 and some credit cards.

Koerber said Torres told Ceron about shooting a woman to steal her drugs. Ceron pleaded guilty to involvement in the La Jolla robbery and faces seven years in prison.

Torres was also convicted in a third burglary in which nothing was stolen.