Man Gets 13 Years for Killing Mother Over Swap Meet Parking Spot Dispute


Elizabeth Yanez, shown in a family photo, was stabbed multiple times in the parking lot of a swap meet in Santa Fe Springs.

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A 23-year-old man who killed a woman in front of her two children over a dispute about a parking spot was sentenced to 13 years in state prison Tuesday.

Reggie Cervantes had been found guilty Aug. 14 of one count of felony voluntary manslaughter in the death of Elizabeth Yanez, 43.

He was sentenced Tuesday, and Judge John A. Torribio also found that Cervantes was convicted of second-degree robbery in 2009 and of receiving stolen property exceeding $950 in value in 2010, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Yanez was with her two adult children at the Santa Fe Springs swap meet on Oct. 17, 2014, when a dispute arose over a parking space, Whittier police said at the time.

Cervantes got out of his car and initially tried to stab the victim’s son, the DA’s office said in 2014. Then he stabbed Yanez in the neck and the back.

“It escalated,” the victim’s son told KTLA a few days after the killing. “It went from one to 10 in a matter of seconds.”

Yanez was taken to a hospital where she died “of other causes,” the DA’s office said Tuesday.

Evidence led to Cervantes and another person, Brenda Rangel, who were arrested the day after the stabbing.

Cervantes had been charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Rangel was charged with the same, but a judge dismissed the case against her at a preliminary hearing, a DA’s office spokeswoman said.

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