Suspect allegedly killed victims with hammer for pressing charges against him

A suspect accused of beating two victims to death with a hammer allegedly killed the individuals for pressing charges against him in a previous case.

Jose Rafael Cantarero, 29, was arrested on Sunday on two counts of first degree murder with a weapon in the deaths of Joseph Garcia Oliver, 38, and Eswin Jose Aragon Hernandez, 34, who were found dead at 1024 Tucker Avenue on Saturday, January 27.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the home on that evening by a witness that told authorities that Cantarero had murdered two people inside the residence at around 7 p.m. that evening.

According to an arrest affidavit, responding deputies found the bodies of Hernandez and Oliver inside the residence. Both men were surrounded by pools of blood and displayed obvious signs of trauma to the head.

Detectives interviewed the witness who reported the homicides, who explained that he was hanging out in his shed in the backyard of the home awaiting the arrival of Cantarero.

At around 7 p.m., the witness says he saw Cantarero exit the back door of the residence holding a hammer.

Jose Rafael Cantarero
Jose Rafael Cantarero

The witness says Cantarero approached him and told him he needed help because he had just murdered Oliver and Hernandez and needed to dispose of their bodies.

The witness allegedly told Cantarero that he would not help and was then led by Cantarero into the home.

While walking through the home, the witness says that Cantarero used the hammer to play with the remains of Oliver and Hernandez. The witness told detectives that he recalled Cantarero saying “that’s what you get” while in the room with the bodies.

The witness also told authorities that he believed Cantarero killed the victims for pressing charges against him in a previous case.

While detectives were investigating the scene, Cantarero returned and was secured in handcuffs.

During an interview, Cantarero denied being involved in the murders of Oliver and Hernandez and said that he never came into contact with the victims.

According to the affidavit, detectives found blood on Cantarero’s forearm and found a bloody fingerprint at the scene. The witness told authorities that he did not touch anything while inside the residence.

Detectives established probable cause and took Cantarero into custody. He is facing two counts of first degree murder with a weapon and is currently being held at the Orange County Jail with no bond, according to court records.

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