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Man Convicted of Fatally Beating Hemet Woman in 2007 to be Sentenced Friday

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A man who killed a 74-year-old Hemet woman in her apartment and twice sexually assaulted one of her neighbors is scheduled to be sentenced Friday Oct. 25.

Kenneth Daniels Jr., 27, was convicted Aug. 13 of fatally beating Rosemarie Edwin during a December 2007 burglary and attempted sexual assault.

A Murrieta jury also convicted him of 11 other felonies, including elder abuse and forcible rape, for a series of crimes that spanned August to December of that year.

On Sept. 16, the same panel recommended life in prison for the defendant, who could have faced the death penalty. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez is expected to uphold the jury's recommended sentence.

Daniels was convicted of three separate assaults - two of which involved the same woman - at the Oak Terrace Senior Apartments, a gated facility on North Santa Fe Street reserved for residents 55 and over.

Prosecutors said the defendant broke into the complex in the predawn hours of Aug. 21, Oct. 19 and Dec. 11, 2007. In the latter instance, Edwin was beaten to death.

Daniels forced his way into the wheelchair-dependent victim's residence and attempted to sexually assault her, but she resisted, and he repeatedly struck her in the head, inflicting fatal injuries, according to trial testimony.

During the Aug. 21 and Oct. 19 attacks, the defendant pushed open an unlocked balcony door to access a then-63-year-old woman's apartment. The victim, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, told investigators that on both occasions she had fallen asleep in her recliner while watching television and awoke to find Daniels in her kitchen.

She said the first time she tried to flee out the front door, but Daniels punched her in the head, knocking her down and pummeling her until gaining her full compliance. According to the victim, the defendant forced her to orally copulate him.

The woman said she suffered a fractured cheek bone, broken eye socket, several chipped teeth and a badly dislocated shoulder. She was still in recovery when, almost exactly two months later, Daniels returned, breaking into her apartment the same way he had before.

"And I said, 'No, not again. Please no, not again,'" the woman testified.

She said Daniels forced her into the bedroom and raped her, then fled. She moved out of the apartment weeks later.

After Edwin's death, Hemet police officers began staking out the complex on a nightly basis. Around 2 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2007, they caught the 6-foot-3, 185-pound defendant attempting to break into another senior's residence.

Reported by City News Service

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