ɫ̳

Skip to content
Author
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

RIVERSIDE — A convicted felon who was sentenced Friday to 49 years to life in state prison.

A Riverside jury in October found Kevin Alfredo Hernandez, 26, of San Bernardino guilty of second-degree murder for gunning down Jose Rondan, also of San Bernardino, in the parking lot of the University Lounge at 1345 University Ave. in 2021.

Along with the murder count, jurors convicted Hernandez of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

During the sentencing hearing Friday at the Riverside Hall of Justice, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles Koosed imposed the term required by law.

At the defendant’s 2022 preliminary hearing, Riverside police Detective Joshua Ontko testified that Hernandez had gone to the University Lounge with Rondan and the victim’s girlfriend, whose identity was not disclosed, on the night of March 13, 2021.

The trio connected with a few friends in the hookah bar, then left in the woman’s car to buy alcohol, returning to the bar a short time later, when it was about 1 a.m. on March 14, according to the detective.

He testified they remained in the woman’s vehicle to drink, but an argument erupted when she misplaced her keys, leading to Rondan and Hernandez exiting the sedan yelling at one another.

The verbal exchange escalated into a physical altercation, with Rondan knocking Hernandez to the ground between two cars and punching him in the face several times, according to Ontko.

“Mr. Hernandez told us that Jose started choking him, to the point that he almost passed out,” the detective testified. “He finally stands up, and Jose starts to walk away. He said that he called to Jose, `Hey,’ and when Jose turned to face him, Mr. Hernandez pulled his gun and shot him.”

Rondan took three 9mm bullet wounds to the chest, dying on the spot.

Ontko testified that the defendant admitted opening fire “because he was pissed.”

He ran northbound to a nearby strip mall along the 215 Freeway, where he was apprehended less than an hour later.

No one else was injured.

Hernandez separately pleaded guilty to an assault charge that he incurred while in custody at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside over a year ago. That was folded into his sentence for the murder.

He had prior felony convictions in another jurisdiction that weren’t listed in court documents.

More in Crime and Public Safety