ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
January 23, 2015
Case # 12ZF0147
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 40 years to life in state prison for murdering his father by shooting him in their Irvine home. Steven Joseph Bruno, 23, Irvine, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 29, 2014, of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2012, Steven Bruno murdered his 60-year-old father Ernest Bruno in the victim’s home by shooting him in order to take the victim’s car and money to visit a girlfriend in another state. The defendant locked his father’s body in a bedroom and fled the scene in the victim’s car. Steven Bruno drove his father’s car to Colorado.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. the following afternoon, family members went to the victim’s home and called 911 after discovering a large pool of blood inside. The Irvine Police Department (IPD) responded to the scene and located the victim in the locked bedroom.
IPD provided a description of the defendant and the vehicle to law enforcement partners. At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2012, the Logan County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado arrested Steven Bruno during a traffic stop.
During the sentencing today, a victim impact statement letter was submitted to the court by the victim’s sister. She said in part, “Today, I am haunted by images of Ernie’s murder – knowing that the last thing Ernie saw was his son Steven walking toward him, pointing a gun at his head and pulling the trigger.” She went on to say, “I believe Steven is a menace to society and should never be set free. In 38 years, he will be a year younger than my brother Ernie was when Steven murdered him. Steven should not be allowed to live out his life in freedom when he robbed my brother Ernie of that opportunity.”
IPD investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff