Undocumented man charged with 1st degree murder in San Jose woman's stabbing death

A man accused of stabbing a woman to death inside her home in San Jose has now been charged with first degree murder and may face the death penalty.

Carlos Arevalo-Carranza, 24, appeared in a San Jose courtroom Thursday where he made his first court appearance. Prosecutors with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office have charged Arevalo-Carranza with murder and two special circumstances of burglary and mayhem. He’s accused in the stabbing death of Bambi Larson, 59, of San Jose.

The charges against Arevalo Carranza make him eligible for life without parole or the death penalty. Governor Newsom signed a temporary moratorium on executions on Wednesday, but prosecutors said that has no impact on whether they can seek the death penalty and are considering it as an option in this case.

Jay Boyarksy, Chief Assistant District Attorney in Santa Clara County, said their office is working to make sure Arevalo Carranza will spend the rest of his life in prison and never hurt anyone again.

“Our office will hold him fully accountable for this brutal murder so he can die in prison,” Boyarsky said.

Court documents reveal that San Jose Police investigators looked through hours of surveillance footage and recovered three t-shirts that were discarded after the crime. The county’s crime lab determined Larson’s DNA was found on one of the shirts and there was a positive DNA match to Arevalo Carranza. Police said he was in possession of Larson’s cell phone and kindle tablet when he was arrested. 

Arevalo Carranza is an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador with a long criminal history. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers had lodged multiple detainers against him, but without a warrant, local law enforcement authorities can’t honor federal detainer requests in according with California sanctuary policies.

President of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, Paul Kelly, said the agency is advocating for a change in policies to allow local authorities to communicate with ICE only when it comes to violent offenders.

“We are not talking about the dreamers. We are not talking about minor offenses. We are talking about this monster of a man who brutally killed this woman 45 days after an ICE detainer was ignored,” Kelly said.

Larson’s family released the following statement:

The family of Bambi Larson wishes to thank the San Jose Police Department for their countless hours and persistence in gathering the evidence necessary to arrest the person responsible for Bambi’s death. Since this is an ongoing criminal matter, the family will not be making any comments at this time. We thank the community for their support, thoughts and prayers and ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of Bambi.

Arevalo Carranza is being held without bail. He next court appearance will be May 17 where he is expected to enter a plea.