A Salinas man accused of killing a well-known pastor in 2017 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Friday, the Monterey County deputy district attorney said.
Servando Silva, 39, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder charge in the death of Pastor Herbert Valero. Silva also pleaded guilty to a charge of felony assault against his own brother, Deputy District Attorney Todd Hornik said in an announcement.
Silva entered the pleas after six days of jury trial in Monterey County Superior Court and with the jury out deliberating. The defendant also admitted a prior strike conviction, the use of a deadly weapon in the killing and a prior enhancement, according to Hornik.
In March of 2017, Silva assaulted his brother with a screwdriver, according to Hornik. He then arrived at Pastor Herbert Valero’s home, where he stabbed the pastor in the neck with a saw, puncturing his carotid artery and jugular vein, Hornik said.
Evidence presented at trial established that Silva suffered from delusions that motivated his attack on the pastor, according to Hornik.
The negotiated disposition reached Friday means that Silva will serve a term of at least 38 years to life in prison, with no opportunity to overturn his plea and sentence, Hornik said.
SOURCE: Bay City News