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Watsonville man who killed his wife and escaped to Mexico pleads guilty to murder

cesar hernandez mug
Watsonville Police
Cesar Hernandez

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION)- A Watsonville man pleaded guilty Friday to murdering his wife in October of 2020, according to the Santa Cruz County Court Portal.

Cesar Hernandez killed his wife Brenda Becerra, 24, in their home on the 700 block of Rodriguez Street on Oct. 15. He was later arrested while re-entering the U.S. from Mexico at San Ysidro, according to investigators.

KION is working to see what the sentence will be and when it will be.


A Watsonville man accused of killing his wife pleaded not guilty to murder at a hearing Thursday, according to the Santa Cruz Superior Court.

The suspect, 47-year-old Cesar Hernandez, is accused of his wife, 24-year-old Brenda Becerra, in their home in the 700 block of Rodriguez Street on Oct. 15. Becerra's family reported her missing early in the morning when Hernandez dropped off the couple's young children.

After a search that lasted several hours, Becerra's body was found on Mission Street in the couple's only car. The coroner's office said she died due to "blunt force head injuries and mechanical asphyxia."

Watsonville police searched for Hernandez for several days, and he was eventually detained while re-entering the U.S. from Mexico at San Ysidro. Watsonville police took him into custody and booked him into the Santa Cruz County Jail.

Hernandez's next hearing is scheduled for December.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


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