An MMA fighter has been convicted of murder following the 2015 death of an escort in an office building in Newport Beach, California.
36-year-old mixed martial artist Nain Isaac Nieto Hernandez was arrested and charged with the killing of 23-year-old Long Beach native Sarai Alcaraz on December 30, 2015, 12 days after the fatal meeting.
Per a trial brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Robert Goodkin, the discovery of Alcaraz’s body came after the escort service she worked for called the police to report a missing employee shortly after midnight.
Having arrived at the scene, the offices of an architectural firm — where Hernandez worked as a janitor — officers met Jordan Beltran, who had driven Alcaraz to the location a couple of hours earlier. According to the man, he received a message at 10:29 PM confirming that she’d received payment and was exiting the building.
He instead encountered a jittery Hernandez departing the offices, who quickly returned inside at the sight of Beltran. Having interacted with him again, Beltran was told that the escort had robbed him and fled. When pushed for more information on the incident, Hernandez is reported to have left the scene nervously in a minivan.
When police arrived, they quickly found a deceased Alcaraz inside a supply closet trash can.
MMA Fighter Claimed Self-Defense After Brutal Murder
According to the Deputy District Attorney Goodkin, Alcaraz was found with “severe head and facial trauma,” which meant that “blood was running from both ears, and her nose.”
In the following legal proceedings, the charged MMA fighter claimed he acted in self-defense, maintaining that the robbery story he told Alcaraz’s driver was true. Hernandez also insisted that he pushed the escort, rather than struck her in any way.
Providing a different conclusion, Goodkin said that Hernandez grew agitated once it became clear that Alcaraz wasn’t prepared to have sexual intercourse with him immediately.
“She comes in and he’s ready to have sex with her right away,” Goodkin said. “The problem here started when she wasn’t ready to have sex with him.”
But in defense of his client, attorney Cameron Talley refuted the idea that Alcaraz worked as a legitimate escort, instead suggesting that she was part of a criminal scheme designed to steal from those who attempt to book services.
“This case is not about prostitution — there is no prostitution going on. None, zero, zip,” Talley said. “This is a criminal enterprise.” He added that Alcaraz was a a player in a ploy that would have ended with “muscle” arriving to collect money.
After a two-day deliberation, jurors found the MMA fighter guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday, August 10. He is set to be sentenced for his crime on October 7.
All quotes h/t The Orange County Register.