A San Pedro man was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in state prison for the 1980 murder of a pregnant 20-year-old Wilmington woman whose body was discovered on a beach in Palos Verdes Estates.
Robert Yniguez, now 67, pleaded no contest last month to second-degree murder for the killing of Teresa Broudreaux, a newlywed who was the mother of a 4-year-old girl. Sheriff's investigators determined that the victim had an argument with her husband the night before, walked to her sister's home and was never seen alive again after leaving her sister's residence.
Yniguez was arrested about two years ago, after being linked to the crime through DNA evidence, according to the sheriff's Homicide Bureau Detective Ralph Hernandez.
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The construction worker -- who is married and has a family -- was convicted in 1982 of a sexual assault in the South Bay area and served about eight years of a 12-year prison term, Hernandez said shortly after Yniguez's arrest. Yniguez also had been arrested in February 1981 in connection with another sexual assault, but that case was eventually dropped due to a lack of cooperation on the alleged victim's part, the detective said.
He said the 1981 attack had a "very similar modus of operandi as to what we believe happened" to Broudreaux, who was found bleeding from the head in the early morning hours of March 4, 1980, after Palos Verdes Estates police responded to a call of a female lying on Malaga Cove Beach.
Broudreaux -- whose body was discovered by a surfer -- had died of blunt force trauma. She was naked, wearing only socks.
"We can't actually say if a sexual assault occurred," Hernandez told reporters in September 2017, but added, "I believe the possible motive to be sexual assault."
Investigators do not believe Yniguez and Broudreaux knew each other.
The woman's husband, Ronnie Fematt, told reporters after the defendant's arrest that he had "been waiting a long time for this day."
"I'm just glad this day came," he said, thanking his family for believing in him and sheriff's investigators for their work on the case.