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November 15, 2019
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Man arrested in cold case murder

SANTA CRUZ — A Watsonville man already serving time in prison was arrested Tuesday for his role in a 2008 murder, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced.

Jorge Trujillo Rodriguez, 32, is being held in Santa Cruz County Jail without bail. He was arrested in San Quentin State Prison, where he was serving time for attempted murder in 2011.

Rodriguez is suspected in the Oct. 3, 2008 killing of Leonardo Perez Barajas, 20, who was stabbed to death outside of a party at the Clifford Manor apartment complex between Lassen Way and Jasper Way in Watsonville.

The case went cold due to a lack of cooperation by many witnesses, but investigators and prosecutors continued to work the case and eventually found evidence implicating Rodriguez.

Rodriguez made his first court appearance on Aug. 28. He returns to court on Sept. 18.


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