Two to stand trial in arson death of 7-year-old Oklahoma boy

Lorese Paulina Cruz, 26, and Julio Cesar Navarez, 20, will stand trial on murder, arson and burglary charges in connection with a southwest Oklahoma City house fire that killed 7-year-old Adrian Roberto Avalos on April 28, an Oklahoma County judge ruled Wednesday.
by Matt Dinger Published: December 19, 2013

Two people accused of burglarizing a house before it was set on fire, killing a 7-year-old boy sleeping inside the home, will stand trial in his death, an Oklahoma County judge ruled Wednesday.

Lorese Paulina Cruz, 26, and Julio Cesar Navarez, 20, are being held without bail in the Oklahoma County jail.

The two are charged with first-degree arson, first-degree burglary and first-degree murder in connection with the fire at 2533 SW 51 that killed Adrian Roberto Avalos, a first-grader at Coolidge Elementary, on April 28.

The state medical examiner ruled that the boy died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

A television and computer monitor were taken from the house, which belonged to Cruz's ex-husband. Those items were found at Navarez's parents' home, Oklahoma City police detective Kenneth Whitebird testified at the preliminary hearing.

Whitebird also testified that Navarez said during a police interview that he and Cruz planned and set up the burglary, but that it was carried out by two unnamed Mexican men.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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