Fresno State student Alberto Hinojosa Medina pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the murder of a UCLA student, burglary and arson.
Medina, who Fresno State confirmed is a double major in pre-psychology and social work, was charged with burglarizing an apartment near University of California, Los Angeles on Sept. 21; then he entered a second apartment where he allegedly stabbed Andrea DelVesco, 21, to death and set fire to her apartment before fleeing, according to the LA County District Attorney’s Office.
“He is charged with the one count of capital murder with the special circumstances of murder during a robbery and a special allegation that he personally used a knife; one count of arson of a dwelling; and two counts of first-degree burglary,” the district attorney’s office said.
Medina, 22, is being held without bail, and the special circumstances make Medina eligible for the death penalty.
Eric Marquez, a UCLA biology student, was charged along with Medina. Marquez, 22, is charged with one count of murder and two counts of first-degree burglary. His bail is set at $1.1 million.
The investigation began after the LA Police Department Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD) and LA Fire Department Arson investigators found DelVesco’s body and suspected she died under suspicious circumstances, according to the LAPD.
Investigators examined forensic evidence and witness statements, which linked Medina and Marquez to the murder, the LAPD said.
RHD detectives arrested Medina Saturday, Sept. 26, at his residence in Fresno, and Marquez Sunday, Sept. 27, near his apartment in the Westwood district of LA. Both Medina and Marquez were booked at Van Nuys Jail for homicide.
The prosecutor, Victor Avila, alleged the men, who were high school friends, had property from both the apartments, including a laptop and stereo system from the first burglary and some property from DelVesco’s apartment in Medina’s residence, UCLA’s Daily Bruin reported from the arraignment.
The surveillance footage showed Marquez helped Medina cover his bloodied clothing with DelVesco’s blanket, they added.
Both men are set to return to court on Oct. 22.