The following information was released by the Orange County District Attorney.
The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations, denied the parole today for an inmate who beat and stabbed a pregnant woman and her unborn child to death. Arthur Richard Perez, 54, was found guilty by a jury of first degree murder and sentenced Aug. 9, 1989, to 25 years to life in state prison. He is currently being held at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Blythe. The case was originally prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jeff Robinson.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche appeared at the hearing to oppose parole. The Board denied Perez’s parole based on his lack of honesty, insight, and true remorse. Perez will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2019.
1988 Murder of Victoria Mesa
On the morning of Sept. 30, 1988, then-30-year-old Perez murdered 28-year-old Victoria Jean Mesa, who was five months pregnant. Perez lived in the same neighborhood and was acquainted with Mesa. After gaining entry to Mesa’s residence, where she was home alone, Perez beat Mesa with his fists before stabbing her 38 times in her head, neck, arms, and back, using Mesa’s kitchen knives. During Perez’s attack, the handle from the knife broke off and he went back into the kitchen for another knife so he could continue stabbing Mesa. After murdering the victim, the inmate fled the scene.
Mesa’s husband was concerned about being unable to reach his pregnant wife all morning and called a neighbor to check on her. She was found lying face-down in a pool of blood. Garden Grove police later found other blood spots throughout the house, consistent with the murderer’s injuries.
The police identified Perez after contacting local hospitals and asking if anyone had been treated for knife injuries. Perez told police that he had hurt himself while cutting lumber, but doctors at the hospital reported that Perez’s injuries were not consistent with lumber saw injuries. Police collected blood, hair, fingerprints and saliva samples from Perez, and matched them to evidence found at the crime scene.
Threat to Public Safety and Failure to Accept Responsibility<h/4>
Mesa’s murder involved great violence and a high degree of viciousness and callousness. Perez demonstrated his obvious disregard for Mesa’s life and her unborn child when he stabbed her 38 times, stopping only to retrieve a second knife after the first knife broke and continuing to stab her after she was dead.
The fact that Perez attempted to flee the crime scene, lied about his guilt, and continued to deny his involvement in the murder after more than 20 years demonstrates his failure to fully accept responsibility for the murder. The inmate has continued to prove his inability to follow rules while incarcerated, as evidenced by his six prison rule violations, the most recent occurring in 2008 after his last parole hearing for attempting to conceal a controlled medication. Perez would have posed a significant threat to public safety had he been released.