May 25, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

Ernesto Hernandez Avalos, a 23-year-old day laborer who murdered his boss by repeatedly hitting him with a shovel, then used a pickax to crush his head, was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. In January of this year, Avalos was hired as a day laborer to work for a landscaping business owned by Woo Sung Park, a 45-year-old father from Rancho Santa Margarita. At a house in Irvine, Avalos reportedly beat Park with a shovel. When police arrived, Avalos still had the shovel in his hands. When police ordered him to drop the shovel, Avalos complied, only to pick up a pickax and deliver a blow to Park’s head, killing him instantly. During his murder trial, Avalos stated he took methamphetamines the morning of the murder and was angry that Park told him he was working too slow. Avalos’ public defender also alleged Avlos was fearful that his boss could attack him.

Murder in California is defined in California Penal Code Section 187. Murder is committed when someone commits an act that caused the death of another person with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is a state of mind. It requires knowledge that through an action or omission, the result will be someone’s death. Malice can be expressed or implied. It is expressed when someone shows a deliberate intention to kill someone. It can be implied when there is no considerable provocation or when the circumstances show an abandoned or malignant heart. The punishment for murder can range from 25 years to life in prison, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyers have been assisting those accused of a wide range of crimes, from minor infractions to murder, for more than 30 years. We will determine the best possible defense for your case and work to have the charged against you dismissed, acquitted, or lessened. To learn more about how the qualified legal team at Wallin & Klarich can help you with your case, call 888-280-6839 today or visit We will be there when you call.

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