Teens enters guilty plea in stabbing murder of Stockton food bank director, sentenced to life

The man accused of murdering the executive director of the Stockton San Joaquin Emergency Food Bank plead guilty today at San Joquin Superior Court in Stockton today.

Simon Alejandro Lua, 19, entered what is knows as an open plea today which acknowledges all the charges. An open plea is a plea where there is no plea negotiation. and the defendant pleads guilty to all counts and the judge, depending on the legal limits of judicial discretion, sentences the defendant without any assurances or promises.
Lua pleaded guilty to the January 4, 2018 stabbing murder of Michael Donaghy. Lua also entered his open plea on, residential burglary, use of a deadly weapon and the special circumstances of murder in the commission of a residential burglary. 
Lua was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; the term for murder with special circumstances. The San Joaquin District Attorney's office Donaghy's family last week concerning this last-minute court date so family members were in attendance today and made victim impact statements to the judge.
Lua, then, 17, was originally charged in juvenile court. Lua waived his right to a “transfer hearing” and was transferred to Superior Court to be tried as an adult.
On January 4, 2018, Lua fatally stabbed Mr. Donaghy, 60, over two dozen times. Donaghy was inside a residential rental property that he owned and was attending to.
Investigators, using internet searches, cell phone analysis, and fingerprint analysis were led to Lua as the suspect in the murder. On January 12, 2018, Lua turned himself into authorities.


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