Arson, murder earn the death penalty
Arson, murder earn the death penalty
A Montebello man has been convicted of murder and arson during the commission of a murder, in connection with a 2010 triple homicide. Joseph Mercado was convicted in November of killing his girlfriend, Serena Tarin, her father Alfred Tarin, Sr., and her brother, Alfred “AD” Tarin, Jr. He was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder, burglary, shooting at an inhabited dwelling and child abuse.

Arson fire started outside family home

Mercado and Serena Tarin had a child together. The child was the subject of a dispute between the parents. Prosecutors said that Mercado had planned the attack at least a month before it occurred, and purchased an assault rifle and ammunition. They also said that Mercado had arrived at the Tarin family home prior to the assault, armed with the rifle and a can of gasoline, along with meat for the family dogs. Mercado waited for shift change at the police station. He poured the gasoline around the outside of the home and ignited it before shooting into the home, killing Tarin, Sr. Later, he broke into the home and shot Serena Tarin, who had been hiding in a bathroom, and Tarin, Jr. The baby was not injured in the incident.

If you’ve been arrested for arson or murder, you need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 in Los Angeles County courts and courtrooms throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. He takes even the toughest cases.

A murder conviction can result in the death penalty, or life in prison with or without parole. Even conviction on less serious felony charges, when coupled with California’s three strikes law can put you behind bars for life.

Felonies like arson and murder are among the most serious of charges, and if you’ve been charged with a serious felony, you need a tough, experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight aggressively for you when your freedom is on the line. Mr. Helfend is such an attorney. He has established a reputation for defending his clients throughout the judicial process.

Don’t jeopardize your freedom and rights with an ineffective defense or an inexperienced attorney. Choosing that strategy is likely to lead to disaster, both during the judicial process and after. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through the adjudication process and work toward the best possible outcome in your particular case.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County arson case.

Photo Credit: Krisztian Hoffer, via

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