by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com
LOS ANGELES — A civil jury in Los Angeles awarded the mother of a slain FilAm tenant $12 million in a wrongful death suit against the owner and property manager of a Burbank apartment complex.
The civil case stems from the rape and murder of Sharon Santos, a Warner Bros. financial analyst. Santos disappeared from her home in the Scott Villa Apartments in Burbank on August of 2004. Police discovered her body more than two weeks later, badly decomposed and locked inside the trunk of her black Honda Accord near Chinatown in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Superior Court last January 18 found that Scott Villa Apartments LP and Francis Property Management Inc. were negligent in hiring Eriberto Rodriguez as a maintenance man. Rodriguez was a convicted felon and registered sex offender.
The owners of the apartment complex gave Rodriguez access to all the apartments units, said Larry Grassini, one of the attorneys representing Santos’ mother, Edna Santos.
The civil jury found that Rodriguez was responsible for the rape and murder of Sharon Santos.
However, no criminal charges have been filed in the death of the 31-year-old FilAm. The criminal case is still ongoing.
Rodriguez is currently serving a 12-year-prison term for sexual battery, robbery and other charges.
“Hopefully, this verdict will lead to the conviction of Rodriguez,” said Grassini.