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Two convicted of murder in Fresno stabbing of sex offender [UPDATED]

Two friends were found guilty Friday of first-degree murder in the killing of a registered sex offender who was stabbed 58 times and his body dumped near Chandler Downtown Airport in southwest Fresno. David Barrera and Patricia Ann Perez, both 50, face life in prison when they are sentenced next month in Fresno County Superior Court.

The jury deliberated over three days before convicting them of murdering 60-year-old Lawrence Ballesteros, who was killed Sept. 18, 2012, on his bed inside a detached garage — a couple of weeks after he was shown on local television in a feature story about Operation Guardian Angel, a multi-agency law enforcement task force that targeted registered sex offenders. Full Article

Update May 16: Fresno woman sentenced in stabbing death of sex offender

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Here’s another death cause by law enforcement (they should have been on trial too) & the news media. Law enforcement was trying to make themselves look good and the media was capitalizing on the sensationalist drama. So; I wonder how many children were saved by this brutal murder made possible by the sex offender registry? If the registry is so good, does this makes this murder a good thing?

Can someone tell me and show documentation; how many children has the registry saved to date?

I applaud you for coming out with this and I wish someone would respond to your questions. I submit this to you that the states that have registries are violating the law if someone uses that info to do harm or kill a S.O. If I were to ask you to drive me to a bank and you were kind enough to do so and unbeknownst to you I robbed that bank and we drove away without you having any knowledge of what just happened and we were pulled over, who would be arrested? Right, we would both be arrested,… Read more »

I meant to say in my comment that some S.O.’s could contribute to helping with information and assist by sharing their experience on what lead them to do this terrible act. The hows and whys have, at times, solutions for us to protect children and further understand what goes on with these people. Little minds think little, be smarter and reach out to understand and truly protect your children because there might be someone lurking in the shadows and it could be right in your family, wouldn’t you like to know? People perish because the lack of knowledge.

You have a very good point. I met a young man in prison who was just out of high school, an honor student, a good kid. He had avoided gangs, was popular, college bound. He was in prison, having been sentence to life as an accessory to murder. His crime was loaning his car to a long time friend who claimed he was using it to go out on a date. That friend wasn’t in reality going on a date, but later that night used the car in a drive by shooting in which the victim died. If this young… Read more »

It is truly amazing that a jury in Fresno convicted two people for the murder of Mr. Ballesteros, who was a registered citizen. There was a time when a jury would not.

Hi Janice:

Yes, it is a good thing they were convicted, and by a jury. It’s sad that this man was murdered in this way because the powers that be have the misplaced belief that it’s OK to publicize the names and addresses of registrants. This never should have happened.

Wait a minute lets break this down. These guys will get life in prison where they will be seen as some kind of hero’s to their fellow prison inmates for murdering a sex offender. They’ll become honored guess of the penal system for many years. Within that society their rank will gain them unique position among other prisoners and law enforcement for murdering a registered sex offender. Do you really think that is punishment? The registered sex offenders that are out in society are living in fear daily outside of the secured walls of prison which while in prison they… Read more »

I’m waiting to find out how much time they get. It’s probably safe to bed they will have the ability to parole in 15-20 years each.

A quick update: Friday, May 16, 2014 from FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — A Fresno woman was sentenced on Friday for her part in killing a registered sex offender who was stabbed 58 times. Patricia Perez, 50, was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. Perez was convicted in March along with David Barrera, 50, of Fresno for the stabbing of Lawrence Ballesteros in 2012. Ballesteros’ body was dumped near Chandler Airport in Southwest Fresno. During the trial, Perez told jurors she had no reason to kill Ballesteros, saying he was her friend and she had offered him a… Read more »

Hi Jason Wilson: My God!!!! With a friend like Patricia Perez who needs enemy’s! 26 to life sounds light for the atrocity she participated in. Since it’s not life without I assume she’ll be eligible for parole at some point in time. In all fairness she should have received the death penalty, but even the death penalty is a bad joke here in California because those sentenced to death aren’t put to death. Richard Ramirez died of old age, as will everyone on death row as long as things stay the same. The most mentally insulting part of this farce… Read more »

I wonder if maybe it’s time to take a look at the number of crimes perpetrated by registrants vs. the number of vigilante attacks against them because they are publicly advertised as targets. And we only hear about the attacks that make the news. An effort at supposedly preventing crime actually CREATES crime.

wait wait wait, the government say’s they do the things they do for public safety, but…. to many people are being killed, don’t sound very safe to me, to put something out to the public and call it for there safety so does that mean all offenders are a danger then if so then they are knowingly letting people out and putting them in public, so is that like putting up a “beware of dog” sign and if somebody jumps over your fence they can sue the owner, and if that’s not the case then it IS punishment, or maybe… Read more »

I just want to applaud the jury for making the right decision and not letting emotions resulting from the events in Orange County cloud their decision. Now if we could get voters to do the same…

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