Contreras convicted of motel murder

Ruben Contreras, a 24-year-old resident of Lindsay, was convicted by a jury on Nov. 22, of First Degree Murder with Special Circumstances as well as First Degree Robbery and First Degree Burglary.

The murder occurred on June 17, 2001 a the Lindsay Motel. Michael Loveland, a 43-year-old disabled Lindsay resident was bludgeoned to death. The body was found by his mother three days later, on June 20. The manager of the motel reported that he had seen an adult and two juveniles enter Loveland's room. Earlier he had seen them talking in the car port to two women who were staying at the motel. The women were instrumental in identifying the suspects.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office investigated the killing and arrested two juveniles and Contreras. The three, who were acquainted with their victim, had removed a small amount of Loveland's belongings from his room according to a news release from the Tulare County Violent Crimes Unit at the time of the incident. Contreras was held at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility in Visalia on $1 million bail. The juveniles were booked at Juvenile Hall with no bail

The trial for Ruben Contreras began on Nov. 16. He will be sentenced on Dec. 17 by the Honorable Judge Darryl Ferguson. According to a press release from Tulare County District Attorney Phil Cline's office, Contreras "will likely receive a sentence of Life Without Parole for the murder."

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Juliet Boccone prosecuted the case. Sergeant Kevin Cotton of the Tulare County Sheriff's Office was the lead investigating officer and Investigator Domingo Flores of the Tulare County District Attorney's Office was instrumental in the successful prosecution.

Start typing and press Enter to search