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Escort Service Driver Admits Fatally Stabbing Man When Stripper Refused Sex

James Michael Apodaca, 33, of Corona killed 25-year-old Robert Alexander in November and now likely faces seven years in prison.

James Michael Apodaca (Photo: Corona Police Department)
James Michael Apodaca (Photo: Corona Police Department)

An escort service driver who fatally stabbed a Corona man during a confrontation over a stripper's refusal to provide sexual favors pleaded guilty Thursday to voluntary manslaughter.

James Michael Apodaca, 33, of Corona killed 25-year-old Robert Alexander in November.

During a status hearing before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez, the prosecution and defense announced that a plea deal had been reached in the case.

Under the agreement, Apodaca admitted the manslaughter count and a sentence-enhancing weapon allegation in exchange for the District Attorney's Office dropping a second-degree murder charge.

Hernandez scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 20. The stipulated sentence is seven years in prison, though the judge has discretion to increase or reduce the term of incarceration.

Apodaca remains held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

During a January preliminary hearing, Deputy District Attorney Elan Zekster described the defendant as the "muscle" for an Inland Empire-based escort service that "scammed" customers by suggesting they would receive sex for money, but instead were only offered stripe tease acts that lasted 30 minutes and cost $200.

"It's an extremely dangerous situation when you are scamming men for money," the prosecutor said.

According to testimony, Alexander had contacted the escort business around 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 15, seeking female companionship. A woman identified only as "Maria" was sent to the victim's apartment in the 1600 block of Via Pacifica.

Maria testified that Apodaca -- who goes by the moniker "Monster" because of his 6-foot, 380-pound frame -- was her driver that morning.

The witness said she informed Alexander that there would be "no touching" while she stripped and danced. Around 3 a.m., she finished and grabbed $200 that Alexander had laid on his dresser. She said the victim stopped her from leaving his apartment and demanded his money back.

The woman alleged she feared being beaten and tried to return the money, at which point Apodaca knocked on the front door. According to the prosecution, the defendant was armed with a knife and brandished it, insisting that Alexander allow Maria to leave the residence -- with the money.

Alexander retrieved a box cutter and held it behind his back, telling Apodaca to back away from his door, but the defendant instead reached inside, apparently to grab Maria's arm.

Zekster said Alexander swung the box cutter at the defendant's hand, slicing him between two fingers. Apodaca lunged at the victim with his knife, stabbing him in the neck and severing his carotid artery, the prosecutor said.

The defense argued Apodaca was protecting himself.


– City News Service.



SA May 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM
I have zero sympathy for anyone involved. Male selling a female is pig vomit, a female selling herself is pig vomit and the “customer” is pig vomit…
Tawnia Wright-Gray May 21, 2014 at 09:38 AM
Really SA? Sounds like you are Pig Vomit and unsympathetic. Yes i do not like this form of work and like I said my son DID NOT need this. I hope if you have a son he doesn't make a mistake and cost him his life. The whole service should be responsible however they are still in business. Detectives told me its becoming an epidemic in so cal. Keep your children informed.
Steve M May 21, 2014 at 03:07 PM
We need Ken Calvert to lead the way to decriminalize prostitution in California.
MurrietaMom4 July 13, 2014 at 09:04 PM
Regardless of what the negotiation of dancing or favors was..the moment that this man did not allow this woman to walk out of his apartment is the moment that her driver had a responsibility and probably an obligation to protect her from someone who was then forcing her against her will from being in his company. I understand that the mother is broken hearted, especially if my son went out this way, but I have to say one guy is using a hooker (whether he needed it or not) and EVEN IF it was a SCAM he was going to FORCE HER to fulfill these favors? since she offered him the money back and he was still forcing her to stay? and my box cutter is a retractable razor blade that he easily could have used to slit that girls throat in a second. I would have expected the driver to grab the girl and get her out of harms way...The only thing the guy had to do to end this situation was throw the girl and the money out the door. Call the Better Business Bureau or something...write a bad YELP review.. I find it an unfortunate situation by I have to say if anyone was in the right, the driver was doing his job protecting the girl who was still inside. There is simply no difference between a box cutter and a knife...unless he had a machete? My box cutter (which is a razor blade) will do much more damage than a little handheld switchblade...but no one who loved this victim will find it easy to accept his responsibility in this. Sad for everyone. This is probably why all of these people involved shouldn't have been taking part in something that was illegal. I have sympathy for the mom and friends but all have to accept some accountability for this situation.
Steve M July 14, 2014 at 02:14 AM
The innocent escort lady can move on and find another monster type guy to troll the bars for lonely men to take to a room and get him in a compromising position when her new monster bursts into the room, starts taking pictures and says; "what are you doing with my woman" and robs him.

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