BALDWIN PARK >> A Baldwin Park man received a prison sentence of 16 years to life Friday for stabbing another man to death during a fight in late last year, authorities said.
Steven Barron, 55, pleaded “no contest” to a count of second-degree murder for the Dec. 9, 2016, slaying of 43-year-old Gilbert Ochoa of Baldwin Park, according to Los Angeles County District attorney’s officials. He also admitted the special allegation that he used a knife in the crime during Friday’s appearance in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The fatal confrontation unfolded shortly after midnight in a residential garage in the 4000 block of Harland Avenue.
Barron, who was renting a room at the home, became involved in an argument with Ochoa as Ochoa was having a conversation with Barron’s landlord, Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said at the time. Ochoa lived nearby.
“The fight led to a number of physical confrontations started by Barron,” district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
“During one of the confrontations, Barron armed himself with a knife and Ochoa armed himself with an aluminum pole,”she said.
Barron suffered a broken arm during the fight, officials said.
He stabbed Ochoa in the chest with a large kitchen knife, sheriff’s officials said.
“Barron gained control of the pole and hit the victim over the head,” Ardalani said.
Police detained Barron for questioning and ultimately arrested him on suspicion of murder several hours later.
Friday’s sentencing was the result of a negotiated plea arrangement, Ardalani said.
If he had been convicted at trial of first-degree murder, Barron could have faced up to 26 years to life in state prison.