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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Whittier man charged in connection to Fullerton College student Andrea Vazquez’s death

Two days after the body of a missing Fullerton College student was found, suspect pleads not guilty at an arraignment Wednesday afternoon.
Matthew Gonzalez
Fullerton College fashion student Andrea Vazquez is mourned by her family and community.

Gabriel Esparza has been officially charged for his alleged role in the death of 19-year-old Andrea Vazquez, by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón Wednesday afternoon.

The charges are one count of murder, one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated, attempted murder; one count of kidnapping to commit rape; one count of kidnapping; one count of assault with intent to commit rape; and two counts of attempted forcible rape.

Esparza, 20, pleaded not guilty to all seven charges, according to the press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Esparza is being held with no bail on account of seven charges brought on by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. (Los Angeles County District Attorney Office)

Esparza was speculated to have used a rifle at the time of the crime.

Esparza’s attempted murder charge was deemed as deliberate and premeditated. It is speculated that Esparza used the alleged weapon when he approached Vazquez and her boyfriend at the parking stalls of Penn Park.

He allegedly kidnapped Vazquez, put her in the bed of his pickup truck, then drove out to a field in Moreno Valley, where the attempted rape and abandonment of her body took place.

“My office will work tirelessly to hold Gabriel Esparza accountable for his callous actions against Ms. Vasquez and her partner,” Gascón said.

A GoFundMe was created by Vazquez’s family, Fullerton College President Cynthia Olivo shared in a statement to staff.

“Myself, along with our fashion department and people from all over the college are extending their sympathy and condolences to Andrea’s family and friends,” the Dean of Fullerton College’s Technology and Engineering Division Kenneth Starkman said. “I know Drea was a terrific student and we are all struggling with the gravity of the situation.”

Campus Psychologists and counseling services will be available Monday, August 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in room 728.

“Fullerton College is devastated to learn of the news about Andrea Vazquez. We extend our condolences to her parents, family and friends,” said Olivo.

Esparza’s preliminary hearing is set for October 25th. He remains held on no bail and may face a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Updates will follow as more information is brought to light regarding this ongoing investigation.

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About the Contributors
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Copy Editor
Guadalupe Gonzalez is a first semester staff reporter and Copy Editor for The Hornet Newspaper. When not writing, she enjoys sewing, reading, and watching thriller or horror movies and spending time with her two cats. Her goal in journalism is to be a news reporter for a newspaper media outlet.
Matthew Gonzalez, Staff Reporter
Matthew Gonzalez is a second semester staff reporter for The Hornet. Aside from being a staff reporter, he is also into sports photography. Matthew's passion in sports comes from watching and covering football, soccer, and basketball. During his free time he enjoys working out or listening to music. He is a huge Taylor Swift lover. Matthew plans on transferring to Cal State Northridge next fall to get a bachelors degree in Journalism.  His end goal is to work for a newspaper company.

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