A 40-year-old man was sentenced today to 26 years to life in state prison for the 2002 murder of a man found dead at the Port of Long Beach, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
On Aug. 5, a jury found Stewart Maua Teofilo (dob 3/14/76) guilty of first-degree murder in case NA103395. Additionally, jurors found true the special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a sharp stabbing instrument, during the commission of the crime.
Deputy District Attorney Amy Wilton, who prosecuted the case, said on June 21, 2002, victim Maurice Howard, 33, traveled to Long Beach to hang out with a friend.
Howard left his friend's home early the next morning. Howard's family and friends never saw him again, the prosecutor said.
On June 24, 2002, a fisherman at the Port of Long Beach discovered a car parked sideways in a parking lot.
When the fisherman went to vehicle to take a closer look, he found Howard dead inside. The victim had suffered 41 stab wounds from his head to his back, the prosecutor added.
Detectives began an investigation into the killing, but after more than 100 interviews, the case went cold, according to the prosecutor.
In 2010, the Long Beach police reopened the case. After several more years of investigation, authorities were able to link Teofilo to the fatal stabbing from his blood and DNA that was collected from the crime scene and matched in a DNA database.
The defendant was subsequently arrested in Stanislaus County in 2015 and brought back to Long Beach to face trial.
The case was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department's Homicide Detail.
Los Angeles County District Attorney / case NA103395 / September 1, 2016