A man who pleaded guilty to stabbing a Newhall man to death near Pyramid Lake in 2017 was sentenced in federal court on Monday to nine years and seven months in prison.
Salvador Rodriguez, 31, was originally charged with the second-degree murder of Josue Salvador Pedraza Antunez, 29, of Newhall, on July 8, 2017, in a remote part of the Angeles National Forest.
“Rodriguez pleaded guilty in October 2021 to one count of voluntary manslaughter within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States,” said Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California. “U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson in Los Angeles sentenced him today,”
Rodriguez was arrested last year in Nebraska, according to Detective John O’Brien of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit. Rodriguez was believed to be working in the area where he was arrested, after being paroled for a plea deal regarding a prior assault, O’Brien confirmed.
O’Brien said the delay in bringing forth the case against Rodriguez had to do with custody delays and then issues with COVID-19 since earlier this year, which has made especially strict protocols necessary regarding custodial transfers, according to officials.
investigators have said in the past that they believe Rodriguez stabbed Antunez to death after the two had known each other through work.
A group of hikers found the body of the victim partially submerged in the creek and concealed by dense vegetation near Frenchman’s Flat Campground.