Santa Rosa, CA – November 20, 2019 – Judge Robert LaForge sentenced Arent Daniel Julius Bradt to 15 years to life, plus one year consecutive for his use of a deadly weapon. A jury found the defendant guilty of Second Degree Murder, Penal Code section 187(a), and found the enhancement of the use of a deadly weapon, a knife, “true.” The verdicts were rendered on September 23, 2019 after an approximate five week trial and five hours of deliberation.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This is another tragic case involving unnecessary violence.”
Evidence presented at trial showed that on November 24, 2016, Cesar Gonzalez-Rivas was stabbed 18 times by the defendant leaving him to die at the scene of a marijuana grow in Knights Valley on Hwy 128. Cesar Gonzalez-Rivas was overseeing the operations while his associate and owner of the home was away for the holiday. It was decided that the defendant’s services were no longer needed and Mr. Gonzalez-Rivas who stood 5 feet 3 inches tall was reasoning with the six foot tall defendant about this when the defendant stabbed the unarmed man in the neck. Portions of the interview of the defendant hours after the incident were introduced at trial wherein the defendant stated in reference to the victim’s movements after the defendant stabbed him in the neck, “He ran around bleeding and like, he didn’t seem like he was ever gonna fall over.” The evidence at trial showed the victim then went outside where the defendant inflicted 17 more stab wounds to the victim’s back.
Numerous friends and family of Cesar Gonzalez-Rivas addressed the court extoling the great virtues of the victim and expressing their sadness at the loss of such a vibrant life.
Judge LaForge imposed the sentence noting it was clear from the number of people present at the sentencing and the statements that were made in open court on behalf of the victim that he was loved. The Judge further stated he heard all of the evidence in the case, which included the defendant’s interview obtained by Detective Jayson Fowler of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and the defendant’s testimony during the trial, and said he did not find the defendant’s testimony credible. He went on to tell the defendant that he found the defendant’s testimony to be “convenient” and that it was “concerning to me.”
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 and Advocate Elizabeth Garcia provided support to the victim’s family and friends throughout the case.