Man captured for ex-girlfriend's murder in San Jose makes first court appearance

The man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in San Jose, then trying to escape justice to Mexico, was in a South Bay courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

Jose Rosas shuffled into Dept. 44 of Santa Clara County Superior Court. At one point, he needed help from another inmate to take a seat. Within minutes of the proceedings, Superior Court Judge Johnny Cepeda Gogo ordered him held without bail.

Rosas is accused of the Sept. 1 killing 27-year-old Susana Elena Hernandez. The chilling crime was caught on surveillance video.

San Jose police detectives said Rosas is the man seen driving his car to a stop in a South Central San Jose parking lot. He then got out, investigators said, and allegedly shot Hernandez, and a man she was with. He then ran off.

"As soon as we identified who he was and had a good idea what kind of vehicle he was in, we were able to send out a state-wide be on the lookout…for this vehicle," said San Jose police spokesman Sgt. Christian Camarillo.

Hours later, CHP officers and U.S. border patrol agents arrested Rosas 100 yards from the Mexican border.

Friends claimed Rosas committed multiple acts of abuse against Hernandez during the course of their romantic relationship.

"One day I told her that if she was a victim of domestic violence to seek help because people who are threatened or abused by their partners, or get hit, end up dead," a friend told KTVU Sept. 2.

Investigators said Hernandez did file at least one restraining order against her ex, for domestic abuse.

"At the end of the day it’s just a piece of paper. If some violates a garden variety restraining order, it’s a misdemeanor," said Prof. Daniel Maxwell, a Univ. of New Haven criminal justice expert.

Detectives said Rosas did violate that order, on multiple occasions. And eventually escalated abuse to murder.

"We’re gonna do whatever we can to find you and bring you back. Our victim’s families deserve that," said Camarillo.

Hernandez is survived by her two children, who are in Mexico. Friends tell KTVU she was here in the Bay Area working so she could send money back home for her children.

Rosas will be arraigned Wednesday. He faces charges for violating a restraining order, and murder.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter @JesseKTVU and Instagram @jessegontv