Why Did You Kill Me?: Here's where William Sotelo and Julio Heredia now
15 April 2021, 13:19
William Sotelo and Julio Heredia were both sentenced to jail for the killing of Crystal Theobold. Here's where they are now, following the Netflix documentary.
The Netflix docu-film tells the true story of Crystal Theobold, a 24-year-old mother of two, who was tragically killed in Riverside, California in February 2006. Despite not being in a gang, she was a victim of gang violence, after members of a local gang mistook the car she was in as a rival gang. She died following a gunshot wound to the head.
Why Did You Kill Me? recounts the way in which Crystal's mother Belinda Lane and younger cousin Jaimie set up fake MySpace profiles in order to befriend members of the 5150 gang, who they suspected were involved in her murder. Eventually, they were able to find one member involved in Crystal's killing by posing as her on the social networking site.
After watching the docu-film, viewers will no doubt want to know where everyone is now, 15 years after her death. Here's what happened to William Sotelo, Julio Heredia and everyone else involved in the case.
Who killed Crystal Theobold?
Where is William Sotelo now?
William Sotelo, who went by the name "Jokes" on MySpace, was flagged as a suspect after Crystal's mother Belinda Lane and cousin Jaimie used their fake MySpace profile to chat to him and get him to confirm the make of his car, a white Ford Expedition.
Sotelo was then brought in for police questioning, and then later let go. He then disappeared off the grid after Belinda revealed her real identity on MySpace, and was not located until 10 years after Crystal's murder.
In 2016, Sotelo was found in Mexico, living with a wife and four children. He was arrested but just before his case went to trial, he pled guilty to a single count of voluntary manslaughter, per NBC Los Angeles. As a result, the murder, attempted murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle charges against him were dropped by prosecutors.
Sotelo was eventually sentenced in 2020 to 22 years. At his trial, Belinda Lane reportedly called him a “coward,” a “monster,” a “punk,” and “despicable” before telling him she hoped that other gang member inmates “snuff [his] life out” while he serves his sentence.
Sotelo was 17 at the time of the shooting, and 31 when he was sentenced 14 years later. He was the last suspect involved in Crystal's murder to be arrested and sentenced.
Where is Julio Heredia now?
Following the police interview with William Sotelo, and further interviews with other gang associates, Julio "Little Huero" Heredia became a suspect. According to NBC Los Angeles, prosecutors said that Sotelo and Heredia did the shooting and it is thought that Heredia’s shots killed Crystal.
As viewers see in the docu-film, Heredia was eventually arrested and was initially set to face the death penalty, but Crystal's family decided against it. Her mother Belinda said: “I did the right thing for the first time in my life.”
In 2011, five years after Crystal was killed, Heredia was convicted of first-degree murder, in addition to other criminal offences. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His full sentence consisted of 138 years to life. He is currently serving his sentence in California State Prison, according to records.
What happened to the other gang members that were arrested?
A number of other associates and gang members were also mentioned in the Netflix documentary.
According to the NBC Los Angeles report, six other gang associates were also convicted of lesser charges, including conspiracy, and received prison terms. Another report from The Press-Enterprise says their sentences ranged from probation to 18 years in prison.
The documentary also reveals that Manuel and William-David Lemus, who gave the police valuable information, were not charged.
Where is Belinda Lane now?
According to The Tab, Belinda runs a Facebook page called “Unsolved murders in Riverside” where she shares information about homicides and cold cases in the area, hoping to help people get justice.
The page was set up back in 2014, when William Sotelo was still wanted by the police. The account is still active, and posts are still shared about murders in the area.
As we know from the docu-film, Belinda has also not used drugs since the day that Crystal was killed.