BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man accused of sexually assaulting an elderly woman in 2021 has been charged with murder in connection with her death.
Sergio Gonzalez-Herrera has been in custody since his arrest on charges including rape and injuring an elder adult. Prosecutors refiled the case Monday with three additional charges: first-degree murder and two more sex-related offenses.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph Kinzel said the woman died not long after the alleged rape. He said the murder charge was filed only after investigation into the cause of death yielded evidence to support it.
Deputy Public Defender Nick Roth on Monday entered not-guilty pleas on Gonzalez-Herrera’s behalf. Judge Gloria Cannon ordered him held without bail.
Gonzalez-Herrera, 32, told authorities he believed his brother’s wife and children were being held hostage when he entered the woman’s home early Nov. 24, 2021.
“I guess I was at the wrong house,” Gonzalez-Herrera said according to court documents. He told police he blacked out and didn’t remember trying to have sex with anyone, and said he snorted methamphetamine two days earlier.
Police were called to a report of an intruder armed with a knife who had barricaded himself inside the bedroom of a woman on Hughes Lane near the Valley Plaza Mall. Officers heard a scream for help and kicked in the bedroom door.
They found Gonzalez-Herrera shirtless on the bed and a woman on the floor, documents said. He resisted arrest and officers used force to take him into custody, documents said.
The woman told investigators she was sleeping when Gonzalez entered her bedroom and attempted to rape her.