Man who killed Patricia Alatorre pleads guilty to murder, rape, other charges

Armando Cruz (FILE)
Posted at 9:16 AM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-04 21:23:52-04

UPDATE: Armando Cruz pled guilty to murder, rape, kidnapping, and other charges in connection to the death of Patricia Alatorre.

On Tuesday, Cruz accepted a deal in exchange for pleading guilty to all the charges he faced. In exchange, he received a sentence of life in prison. Cruz had faced the possibility of the death sentence.

Final sentencing is set for November 1st.

The prosecution said victim impact statements will take up most of the morning on November 1st.

The man accused of raping and killing 13-year-old Patricia Alatorre is also expected to be in court Tuesday.

Armando Cruz faces 12 felony counts and possibly the death penalty if convicted. He is slated to be in court Tuesday morning for a motion hearing.

Patricia Alatorre disappeared last summer from her South Bakersfield neighborhood near Cresent Ridge Street. Cruz, an Inglewood resident was arrested by Bakersfield police in the Los Angeles area after authorities located his pick-up truck that was seen leaving Alatorre's neighborhood at the time she disappeared.

Documents revealed a lot of information about how Alatorre communicated with her suspected killer, the kind of communication they had prior to her death, and the tragic way she lost her life.

Documents state Cruz convinced Alatorre to meet with him to engage in explicit acts on two occasions despite knowing she was only 13. He drove from Los Angeles to Bakersfield to meet her. On the second encounter, Cruz drove her around the block as she screamed, telling him she didn't want to go with him.

It was about this time documents state she was raped. She tried to get up and physically struggled with Cruz and that's when he allegedly strangled her and tied her up with duct tape. He then took her body with him but the details following are too graphic to release.

"The first count is first-degree murder and in connection with first-degree murder, I charged four special circumstances which carry the penalty of life without the possibility of parole, in prison, or the death penalty," explained Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer at the time.

The trial is scheduled to begin on October 17th.