PEOPLE V DAVID MARTIN, EDUARDO BINIANO LOPEZ

People v. David Martin, Eduardo Bibiano-Lopez

On Aug. 10, 2021 a jury found defendants David Martin and Eduardo Bibiano-Lopez guilty of first-degree murder for the death of Jose Magdaleno Lechuga, who was killed in his home on November 13, 2018.

On Nov, 14, 2018, Lechuga, 51, was found inside his home in Oakland, bound from head to legs toe with duct tape. His entire head including his nose and mouth were covered in duct tape. His legs and wrists were bound with duct tape, and a white rope had been used to tie his upper body. The victim was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene, having suffocated from having his airways blocked by the tape. Mr. Lechuga’s son found the victim, after having hired a locksmith to open the front door when he couldn’t get in touch with his father throughout the day.

Criminalists were able to pull fingerprints from the duct tape and other items from the victim’s home including a bleach bottle used by the defendants to try and hide evidence, linking the defendants to the crime. A Home Depot receipt, with the rope as one of the purchased items, was also found at the scene. Video surveillance footage from the Home Depot store showed Bibiano-Lopez and another person purchasing the white rope before the homicide.

It appeared Lechuga was a victim of a home invasion, as his home had been ransacked.

The jury acquitted a third defendant, Armondo Jose Sanchez, who was charged with murder.

The case was prosecuted by DDA John Ullom, with assistance from Inspector Eric Milina and Victim-Witness Advocate Scarlett Cervera. This prosecution was made possible by the work of Criminalists Jessica Almeida and Rebecca Coutant in conjunction with Oakland Police Department Detective Jose Barocio.

The defendants are expected to be sentenced Oct. 22.

Posted on Aug 13, 2021