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Calimesa man who killed neighbor over dispute sentenced to 40 years to life

A Calimesa man who gunned down his neighbor over a property dispute involving his mother was sentenced Friday, Dec. 7, to 40 years to life in prison.
A Riverside County jury in October deliberated less than a day before finding Rex Carl Edwards, 63, guilty of second-degree murder for the slaying of 55-year-old Susan Perez in 2017.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Fox portrayed Edwards as a callous perpetrator at odds with Perez over her use of a neighboring doublewide trailer at the Big Oak Gardens Mobile Home Park in the 35000 block of Chandler Avenue.
“He didn’t want to kill her and get away with it,” Fox told jurors. “He just wanted to kill her.”
Edwards and his mother, Rose Marie Hopkins, had been engaged in an eight-year-long conflict with Perez, who was caretaker for Hopkins’ immediate neighbor, Charles Williams. The two women had verbally jousted on numerous occasions, ostensibly because they had a mutual romantic interest in Williams, according to trial testimony.
When the terminally ill man died, there were questions as to the disposition of his mobile home and lot, which Edwards and his mother had an apparent desire to acquire, Fox said.
On Aug. 12, 2017, as the victim was walking to a vehicle, Edwards jumped from behind a hedgerow, ran to within a couple of feet of Perez and opened fire with a .25-caliber handgun, according to sheriff’s investigators. Edwards surrendered peacefully to deputies.
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