Santa Maria Man Pleads Guilty to Executing Former Girlfriend

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By the District Attorney of Santa Barbara County

Re: People v. Jorge Tovar Fernandez 17CR03720

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced [Thursday] that Jorge Tovar Fernandez pled guilty to the willful, premeditated and deliberate murder of Elyse Marie Erwin, in violation of Penal Code section 187, first degree murder.

On April 16, 2017, Ms. Erwin was returning to a friend’s residence on Goodwin Road in Santa Maria.  As Ms. Erwin was exiting her car, the defendant shot Ms. Erwin in the back of the head.  Ms. Erwin died on the scene.

“This horrific murder,” said District Attorney Joyce Dudley, “was the worst kind of domestic violence.  It occurred years after the couple separated, but the defendant continued to engage in relentless stalking behavior.  If you, or someone you know, is experiencing any form of domestic violence, or is being stalked, please call 911; in doing so you could become a life-saver.”

The defendant will be sentenced by the Honorable Patricia Kelly on February 24, 2023 in Department 8 of the Superior Court in Santa Maria.  At that time, the defendant will be sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.

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doulie Dec 16, 2022 10:48 AM
Santa Maria Man Pleads Guilty to Executing Former Girlfriend

No mention of a parole possibility. In reading the article I was guessing he pled to first degree murder to avoid the probability of a death sentence. Then I can't find a parole comment. Does he remain eligible for parole after this "execution?"

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