Man who confessed to killing girlfriend and unborn baby had multiple arrests for battery

Posted at 11:02 AM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 23:13:41-05

UPDATE (Dec. 13, 2016 8:09 p.m.): Vela appeared in court on Tuesday and did not enter a plea deal. The judge pushed the arraignment to December 21 at 3 p.m.


Manuel Vela, who confessed to the murders of Katrina Rivera and their unborn son Josiah is a jailhouse interview with 23ABC on Monday, had a long arrest record prior to the slayings.

Vela had 10 arrests between October 2008 and June 2016, with charges ranging from being drunk in public to spousal battery to stealing vehicles. 

Rivera had also filed a restraining order against Vela, with the most current order expiring in August 2015.

Vela had mentioned during his jailhouse interview that he planned the murder of Rivera while he was in prison last year.

In August of 2014, he pled no contest to taking a vehicle without an owner's consent. He was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, but only spent a little over a year at Wasco prison. Criminal records also show he spent time at Patton State Hospital, a mental hospital, during his sentence.