- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A Santa Ana man accused of helping hack to death a suspected rapist with a meat cleaver has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Forty-five-year-old Shannon Gries of Santa Ana entered the plea Monday for the 1995 killing of 24-year-old Gonzalo Ramirez. He’s facing 25 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Gries and others abducted Ramirez in Santa Ana after a friend’s ex-girlfriend claimed he’d raped her.

Prosecutors say the group staged a rear-end accident, dragged Ramirez from a stopped car, drove him to another location, killed him and dumped his body by an Irvine road.

Two women, including the ex-girlfriend, await sentencing after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Gianni Van of Costa Mesa was convicted last year of murder and is serving life in prison without chance of parole.

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