BARSTOW A man charged in the July 2010 stabbing death of a Yermo man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder at Barstow Superior Court on Wednesday.

Matthew Lozano, 21, was set to begin trial soon in the stabbing death of 43-year-old Guillermo Landeros in July 2010.

Lozano pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges on Wednesday and is expected to receive 15 years to life in prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Sean Daugherty.

Landeros was found suffering from stab wounds to his neck in front of a house on the 400 block of West Williams Street in Yermo. Landeros later died from his injuries at Barstow Community Hospital.

Witnesses at the scene had identified Lozano as a suspect in the stabbing and said they saw him running toward a home on the 37500 block of First Street in Yermo. Lozano was found hiding in the attic and arrested by deputies.

Lozano's Deputy Public Defender Phil Zywiciel had argued that Lozano was mentally unfit to stand trial, but Judge Glenn Yabuno ruled in September that he was fit for trial.
Daugherty declined to comment on the plea.

Zywiciel said after the plea on Wednesday that the death of Landeros was a tragedy for all involved because a man is dead and a young man is going to prison for a very long time.

"Incidents like this are really a tragedy all the way around," said Zywiciel.

Lozano is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 19. He is currently being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.