Today, Merced County Superior Court Judge Carol Ash sentenced Defendant Jesus Ortega to 33 years, 8 months to life in prison for the 2010 murder of Armanda Lllanos-Flores.
On November 10, 2020, a Merced County jury convicted the defendant of all crimes and enhancements alleged in Merced Superior Court Case CRM012152, including one count of felony first-degree murder with personal use of a deadly weapon, one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, and one count of felony criminal threats.
On March 31, 2010, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 1900 block of First Street in Hilmar, CA for a report of a stabbing.
The defendant and the victim, his girlfriend, Armanda Llanos-Flores, had gotten into an argument earlier in the day at her home.
The defendant left, but returned hours later after drinking whiskey at a nearby ranch. The defendant was angry and confronted the victim.
The victim and her two daughters, then ages 14 and 16, fled the home in fear for their lives. The defendant chased them outside and then stabbed the victim at least one time. The fatal stab wound deeply cut the victim’s neck.
The victim’s brother attempted to intervene, and the defendant stabbed him in the back before leaving the scene. The defendant fled to Mexico and was returned to Merced County in late 2018.
During the trial, the victim’s daughters testified not only to the murder they witnessed, but also related to the jury prior, unreported acts of domestic violence they had seen the defendant commit against the victim. The sentence issued by Judge Ash today incarcerates the defendant for the maximum amount of time allowed under the law.
At the sentencing hearing, family members spoke passionately about how the loss of their loved one has impacted their lives and their great sorrow now and during the last ten years as their lives have continued without her.
Deputy District Attorneys Nicole Silveira and Kayla Boyer prosecuted the case. Sergeant Andrade of the Merced Sheriff’s Office was the lead investigator on the case