Santa Rosa, CA – September 24, 2019 – After a month-long trial, a Sonoma County jury deliberated less than 5 hours before finding defendant Arent Daniel Julius Bradt guilty of second degree murder yesterday afternoon. In addition, the jury found “true” an enhancement alleging the defendant used a knife during the murder, making the defendant’s maximum exposure 16 years to life in state prison.
The charges resulted from an incident on November 24, 2016 at the site of a marijuana grow in Knights Valley on Hwy 128. Defendant Bradt had traveled from Michigan to Santa Rosa approximately a month prior to the murder and quickly found work in the marijuana industry. The victim, Cesar Gonzalez-Rivas was born in Venezuela and came to the United States when he was 18 years old and subsequently earned his citizenship.
On the day of the incident, Gonzalez-Rivas, who was overseeing the operations while his associate and owner of the home was away, notified the defendant that his services were no longer needed. After an argument broke-out between the two, defendant produced a knife and stabbed the unarmed victim once in the neck and 17 times in the back.
A witness who was present at the time of the murder heard the argument and upon seeing the blood on Gonzalez-Rivas called 911. A Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy arrived to the rural property within minutes and located the defendant on the property.
During the trial the jury heard portions of the defendant’s interview given shortly after the attack where he noted, “[the victim] ran around bleeding and like, he didn’t seem like he was ever gonna fall over.”
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jane Murray and Deputy District Attorney Evanthia Pappas, assisted by Attorney Investigator Mark Azzouni. Detective-Sergeant Jayson Fowler of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office headed the investigation.