Former Muir High teacher pleads no contest in 2008 murder case

This from the District Attorney’s Office:

PASADENA – A former high school history teacher today pleaded no contest to first-degree murder in the 2008 slaying of an Arcadia man, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Russell Moore of the Pasadena Branch Office said Brandon Michael Landreth, 33, also admitted using a handgun to carry out the killing.

Pasadena Superior Court Judge Dorothy Shubin said Landreth would be sentenced on Feb. 22. He is expected to be sentenced to 35 years to life in state prison, under the terms of a negotiated settlement.

Landreth, a former teacher and chess coach at John Muir High School in Pasadena, was alleged to have fatally shot Justo Cesar Morales, 25, on March 30, 2008 at the victim’s Arcadia home.

According to evidence presented at a 2009 preliminary hearing, Landreth’s ex-wife had been in a relationship with Morales during the year after she separated from Landreth.

Arcadia police arrested Landreth on April 2, 2008. The defendant has remained in custody since.

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