Murder suspect Ronald Loureiro Jr., accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend to death as Loureiro’s three young sons watched, has agreed to a plea bargain and is scheduled to enter his plea Thursday morning.
“We do have a resolution in this case,” Deputy Conflict Counsel Owen Tipps, representing the 32-year-old Loureiro, told Judge Kaleb Cockrum this morning. Tipps said Loureiro is prepared to enter a plea, though he didn’t say which charges Loureiro will admit. He is accused of murder, use of a knife and child endangerment. It’s also alleged Loureiro has two prior strikes under California’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law.
Loureiro has been behind bars since January 2018, when he allegedly stabbed 34-year-old Vernon James Weatherford in the heart as Weatherford sat in a car with his girlfriend Jackie Carter and her three sons with Loureiro. The boys were aged 8, 6 and 2 and were sitting in the back seat of the car.
According to testimony at Loureiro’s preliminary hearing, Carter and Weatherford had been together about a year, and the boys considered him their father.
Loureiro’s prior felonies were assault with a firearm in 2007 and assault with a deadly weapon in 2015.
Weatherford’s fatal stabbing occurred on Jan. 4, 2018, in a car parked at Highway 101 and Dryden Road in Orick.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schaffer appeared for her office today via video. Attorney David Nims, representing Carter, also appeared on video.
Loureiro, after being in custody for more than two years, is chubby and wears black-framed glasses. He watched the hearing from the jail’s video conference room.
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