Jurors recommend death penalty for woman involved in day laborers slaying

Posted on July 18, 2010


Jurors have recommended death for a woman who prosecutors said was most responsible among three defendants for the robbery-murders of two day laborers who had been lured to a Corona motel, then stripped and brutalized before they died. The panel decided Thursday that Brooke Marie Rottiers, 30, should die for the Aug. 28, 2006, slayings of Marvin Gabriel, 22, and Milton Chavez, 28.

Their decomposing bodies were found inside a car abandoned in the Gavilan Hills, near Lake Mathews in Riverside County. They were hogtied with electrical cords and bright-pink duct tape. The men were gagged with panties and found with plastic bags around their neck with bras and cords, according to court records.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios J. Hernandez set Sept. 17 for sentencing. The judge will consider arguments then to modify Rottiers’ sentence to life in prison without parole.

Rottiers was the only defendant among the three charged with the murders for whom prosecutors sought the death penalty. Each defendant had a separate jury.

Co-defendants Omar Tyree Hutchinson, 34, and Franchune Dyuel Epps, 26, each were also found guilty of murder and a special circumstance of robbery last month. Hutchinson will be sentenced Aug. 16, Epps on Aug. 17.

The two victims went to the El Paraiso bar in Riverside the night of the killing. Prosecutors said Rottiers was working as a prostitute and left the bar with the two men and Epps. They went to a Corona motel. Hutchinson was there. Epps was accused of pulling a gun in the room as Rottiers ordered Hutchinson to strip and rob them. Rottiers beat the two men and strangled them, prosecutors said.

Hutchinson admitted to helping dispose of the bodies but denied taking part in the robbery, his attorney said. During the autopsy, investigators noted blankets and sheets used to cover the bodies were the type used in hotels or motels.

The victims’ cell phones were called or used in the hours after they disappeared, according to a sheriff’s investigator’s declaration for the arrest of Epps. Using search warrants, investigators traced their cell phones’ relay site to Corona and by Sept. 1 to the motel where the slayings took place.

The motel manager said he had evicted Rottiers and Hutchinson after they had vandalized their room, breaking lamps and cutting electrical cords from phones, lamps and vacuum cleaners. The eviction was Aug. 29, one day after the slayings.


Posted in: The Anti News