January 18, 2017
An El Rio man charged in the 1991 murder of an Oxnard woman who was found raped and bludgeoned to death in an agriculture field has pleaded guilty, prosecutors said.
Silverio Ambriz, 51, appeared before Ventura County Superior Court Judge Bruce Young on Tuesday for an early disposition conference and pleaded guilty to murder and other charges in connection to the death of 22-year-old Angela Fisher, Senior Deputy District Attorney Anne Spillner said.
Ambriz admitted to a special circumstance of committing the murder while engaging in rape and sodomy. He also pleaded guilty to one count of sodomy, one count of forcible rape and one count of arson. Ambriz will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Feb. 27, Spillner said.
Fisher's case remained unsolved until the Ventura County sheriff's cold case homicide task force re-examined DNA evidence collected from the crime scene. A check with the Combined DNA Index System, a databank that contains DNA profiles of people arrested across the United States, came up with a match in 2002, Spillner said.
Ambriz, who was a field worker, was already in state prison for a 1996 case when he was arrested in March 2015 on suspicion of killing Fisher, Sheriff's Sgt. Denise Sliva said.
Spillner said a field worker found Fisher's half-naked body in an agricultural field on Sturgis Road near Oxnard on Oct. 5, 1991, the Oxnard woman's 22nd birthday. Bloody pieces of concrete culvert found near Fisher's body "had been used to bash her head in," the prosecutor said.
Next to the body was Fisher's 1977 Toyota Celica, which investigators said Ambriz had set ablaze.
In January 1998 a judge sentenced Ambriz to 47 years to life after finding him guilty of one rape and the attempted rapes of three other women and several other sexual assault charges stemming from a late-night rampage on Highway 118 on Thanksgiving in 1996. Spillner said Ambriz chased the women in a truck and forced them off the road.
Ambriz raped one of the women, hogtied her with her boot laces and left her naked in a lemon orchard. The woman eventually broke free and went to a nearby home, Spillner said. All four victims identified Ambriz and his truck during that trial.