The man accused of murdering 52-year-old Paradise resident Lisa Marie Madrid in Butte County, and then dumping her body in Colusa County, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the Colusa County Superior Court on Thursday.
Daniel Albert Robleto, 54, also of Paradise, was arrested at 2 PM on June 30, the day after a farm worker discovered Madrid’s body off of Harbison Road, about a mile west of Highway 45 in Colusa County. The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and responded to the scene at about 7:22 AM on June 29. Detectives learned that Madrid had worked in Paradise and subsequently obtained video surveillance of Madrid and an unknown male. Detectives from the Colusa County Sheriff’s contacted the Paradise Police Department, whose officers were able to identify the male in the video as Robleto.
Paradise Police officers and Colusa County Sheriff’s Detectives responded to a known residence of Robleto, and found what appeared to be a crime scene, and evidence was located that connected Madrid to the residence and Robleto.
Robleto was arrested during a traffic stop in Lake County the following day, when the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office said he was driving a vehicle belonging to Madrid. Robleto had previously lived in Clearlake, where he had a history of run-ins with police.
The District Attorney’s office filed a first amended complaint in court on Thursday, with the charge of second-degree murder. In a statement read into the court record, Colusa County District Attorney Matthew Beauchamp said that, if called to do so, his department would produce physical and testimonial evidence, including the testimony of a forensic pathologist, that on or about June 29, Robleto personally committed an act of strangulation upon Madrid, and “by committing the said act of strangulation did unlawfully and with malice aforethought murder Lisa Marie Madrid by asphyxiation” and then left Madrid’s body on Harbison Road.
“Our Sheriff’s Office led the charge,” Beauchamp said after court on Thursday. “Lt. Mark Contreras and Sgt. Matt Purcell did an outstanding job of starting from nothing and putting together the investigation, along with allied enforcement agencies. It was a textbook investigation, and I’m really happy they’re members of the Sheriff’s Office.”
Robleto appeared in custody on Thursday, clad in a striped, orange and white shirt and orange pants. Judge Jeffry A. Thompson presided over the case. When asked whether he understood the charges against him and the possible sentence for those charges, an otherwise silent Robleto answered Thompson with, “Yes, sir.”
As a result of his no contest plea to the second degree murder charge, Robleto could face a maximum of 15 years in prison and spend the remainder of his life on parole, in addition to paying $20,000 in fines. He is due back in court on Dec. 6 at 1 PM for sentencing, at which point the Colusa County Probation Department will have a sentencing report prepared. ■