Ex-fugitives to stand trial in 1982 Rowland Heights slaying

More than 30 years after a stabbing and beating that left one man dead and another permanently injured in a Rowland Heights Park, two longtime fugitives are awaiting trial for the crimes, sheriff’s officials announced Saturday.
Gilbert Leal, 51, and Marcelino Diablos Corona, 49, and a third suspect, who remains at-large, fled to Mexico following the Aug. 8, 1982 attack that killed 20-year-old Richard Hernandez of Valinda and severely injured 19-year-old Daniel Ontiveros, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
But investigators earlier this year found Leal in Riverside County, officials said.
He was jailed July 20, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Cold case detectives Thursday learned that Corona was living in Fontana and using a different name, sheriff’s officials said. They obtained a warrant and arrested him without a struggle.
Leal and Corona have both been charged with the murder of Hernandez, and assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated mayhem for the alleged attack on Ontiveros.
The crimes took place at the Rowland Heights Park, 1500 Banida Avenue, authorities said. Hernandez and Ontiveros were visiting with two female friends when they were approached by the three suspects, who challenged them to a fight.
“Both young men declined the challenge and continued their visit with the two young ladies,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
“A few minutes later the three suspects attacked Richard and Daniel armed with weapons,” the statement said. “During the assault, Richard Hernandez was beaten, stabbed and later died from his injuries. Daniel Ontiveros was beaten, struck in the head and suffered permanent brain damage.”
Hernandez was pronounced dead at a West Covina hospital about an hour after the 1 a.m. incident, sheriff’s deputy Tony Grace said at the time.
Knives, baseball bats and tire irons were used in what the deputy then described as a “melee.”
Information regarding the third suspect linked to the 1982 park attack was not available Saturday.
Corona, who was being held without bail, was scheduled to appear Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to county booking records. Leal, who was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, was scheduled to appear Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.

PHOTOS of Gilbert Leal (above) and Marcelino Corona (below) courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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