A Lompoc man faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing a transient and attempting to kill his own mother, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.
Noe Herrera, 33, will be sentenced to 24 years to life in prison later this month for killing Salvador Hernandez in January 2015 and attacking his mother in a separate incident. He was arrested on Jan. 20, 2018 after a violent altercation with his mother. While in jail, Herrera attacked his cellmate causing minor injuries and reportedly confessed to killing Hernandez.
"Once again, the Lompoc Police Department did an excellent job investigating this case and seeking justice for the victims and their families," Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said in a statement. "Still, the defendant's acts of extreme violence have had a devastating effect on the victims, their loved ones and the entire Lompoc community."
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Herrera, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in February 2017, was found mentally incompetent to stand trial in December 2018 and remanded to a state hospital for treatment. Prior to pleading guilty, Herrera's criminal proceedings were suspending pending successful treatment.
He will be sentenced in Santa Maria Superior Court on July 24.