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Felon Found Guilty of Fatal Stabbing in Santa Monica's Tongva Park

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By Jorge Casuso

September 18, 2019 -- A felon on probation was found guilty of second degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a man sleeping on a park bench across from Santa Monica City Hall last year, police said.

Jessie Ramirez Perez, who was a 21 years old and on felony probation for assault with a deadly weapon at the time of his arrest, faces 15 years to life in prison, police said Wednesday.
Jessie Ramirez Perez
Jessie Ramirez Perez (Courtesy SMPD)

Perez's victim -- Eric Michael Perrine, an 18-year-old Hispanic -- was sleeping on a bench in Tongva Park on October 3 when Perez stabbed him "without provocation" at around 8 p.m., police said.

"The suspect was seen running from the crime scene and was arrested by responding officers," said Lt. Candice Cobarrubias, the Police Department spokesperson.

Perrine suffered a single stab wound to the abdominal area and was treated at the scene by paramedics, police said at the time.

He was transported to a local hospital, where he died of the injuries during surgery a short time later, according to the Los Angeles County Corner.

Perez was booked on one count of murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

The jury found him guilty Monday of murder in the second degree.

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An investigation last year by the Lookout found that the suspects charged with some of Santa Monica's most violent crimes were either felons or on probation ("Suspects in Santa Monica's Most Violent Crimes Were Repeat Offenders," March 13, 2018).

Since the article was published in March of last year, several other violent crimes have been committed by repeat offenders, including Perez's fatal stabbing of Perrine in Tongva Park.

Fernando Venancio Jr., who was charged in July with raping two women in Santa Monica and attempting to rape a third, also had an extensive criminal record ("Suspect in Santa Monica Serial Rapes Has Long Criminal Record," July 26, 2019).

Santa Monica police have pointed to Proposition 47, which was approved by California voters in 2014, as having put some of those who commit violent crimes back on the streets.

Santa Monica voters approved the measure with nearly 80 percent of the vote -- 20,326 to 5,506 -- compared to voters across the state, who approved the measure with 60 percent of the vote.

The fatal stabbing in Tongva Park was one of seven homicides committed in Santa Monica last year. There have been two homicides so far this year.

Perez is scheduled to be sentenced October 30.

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