VISALIA – It’s difficult to know which crime is worse, killing the mother of your child or killing the innocence of someone else’s child by molesting them. Only Hector Gonzalez can answer that question and he has the next 100 years to think about it.
On March 19, a Tulare County jury convicted the 53-year-old Gonzalez of first-degree murder with the special allegation of use of a sharp stabbing instrument and that he committed the crime while out on bail, one count of sodomy on a child 10-years-old or younger, one count of oral copulation on a child 10-years-old or younger, 22 counts of lewd act on a child under the age of 14, fourteen counts of which carried the special allegation of substantial sexual conduct, and two counts of lewd act on a child age 14.
The sexual assaults occurred between Feb. 13, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2014, against a single female victim age 10 through 14.
On Jan. 1, 2016, a missing persons report was filed for 32-year-old Krickett Enriquez, Gonzalez’s former girlfriend, and the 8-year-old child they shared. During the search of Gonzalez’s apartment complex, Visalia Police Department officers located the body of Enriquez in a car covered by a tarp in the parking area. Enriquez had 21 stab wounds, four of which were determined to be fatal. Detectives canvassed the apartment complex and located Gonzalez, along with the 8-year-old. Gonzalez was immediately taken into custody.
Gonzalez was out on bail for the sexual assaults when Enriquez was murdered. The sexual assaults were committed against a victim not biologically related to Gonzalez.
Judge Gary Paden will sentence Gonzalez on May 3, 2019 in Department 6 of the Tulare County Superior Court, Visalia Division. Gonzalez faces up to 108 years-to-life in prison.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Chelsea Wayt of the Crimes against Child Division and investigated by Visalia Police Department Detectives Celestina Sanchez and James Cummings.