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Orange County Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg sentenced Alejandro Avila to death for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of five-year-old Samantha Runnion, telling the killer he had "forfeited his right to live."

Avila was convicted April 28 after a jury deliberated for nine hours. The jury later recommended the death penalty, which was officially imposed Friday.

"You don't deserve a place in my family's history," Samantha's mother told Avila before his sentencing. "I want you to disappear into the abyss of a lifetime in prison where no one will remember you, no one will pray for you and no one will care when you die."

Avila will join 644 others on California's death row. Donald Beardslee was the last person executed in California in January, after spending 20 years and 10 months on death row.

See Also:
Avila Gets Death Penalty in Runnion Murder

The Trial of Alejandro Avila
Profile: Samantha Runnion


June 21, 2007 at 2:35 pm
(1) Concerned says:

I am glad he gets death. This would have never happeden had his sisters stood up for themselves and told the police what he had done to them in their childhood. I knew the family. A close friend of mine had a child from his brother. Samantha woudl still be alive today if people spoke up about what is happening in the household. I bet a lot of other lives could have been saved.

November 6, 2007 at 2:25 pm
(2) Cynthia says:

May God have mercy on him, cuz I sure as hell don’t. I have been following this from the beginning. I have to say the laws suck when it comes to sexual abuse or asult on a child. My daughter was molested by my grandfather, and they said it was her word against his.. She was only 5 years old and they made me do a scan on her, which meant a microscope was put inside her between her legs..she was a baby.. good lord and this sob got off, even after there was previous report of him doing it to my cousin. My baby will have to live with this for the rest of her life. I am glad this SOB got the death penality.. I wish they would let the inmates handle it though.. that way he would know what it feels like to be helpless and feel the pain and suffering that, that precious precious angel went through.. I hope you find the Lord buddy cuz if not you will be burning in hell for the rest of your life.. FOREVER!!!… For those who don’t stand up.. dammit we need to stand up and make noise.. for the sake of our children, not at their sacrafice. My prayers are with the mama.. always.. I am so sorry..but she was to good for this world and the Lord took her home.. now she can be an angel and never feel any pain or sorrow again…

June 24, 2008 at 11:33 pm
(3) harris family says:

God Bless you Samantha – you will always be remembered for being such a bright little girl with nothing but love for your friends and family, with God now and forever..xox..

November 19, 2008 at 1:38 am
(4) christine says:

I hope you burn in hell, people like you make me sick how could you want to hurt a angel. You deserven to be raped and tortured everyday for the rest of your life. I know she is in heaven but she should be in her mommy’s arms but you put so many people in tears when you hurt that angel. I prayed and cried everyday for that little girl. And as god as my witness I hurd a voice a woman voice say “SHE IS OK” I knew she was in heaven before she was found. Not sure who the angel was but she answered me and peace came over me and I new you could not hurt her anymore now it is her mother that suffers everyday! God wants us to forgive and forget but I cannot you will never NEVER have my forgivness rot in hell and I hope those men in there do to you what you did to that angel please hurt him every chance you get PLEASE TORTURE HIM EVERYDAY UNTIL THE DEVIL TAKES HIS SOUL!!!!! And I hate you for making me wish this on another human being but your not human you are a monster. When you die I hope it hurts like hell you SOB! Dear sam hunny bring your mommy kisses everyday show her your not far she is missing you so much. I have 3 girls and I could not go on if they were taken from me so Erin I send lots of hugs from one mom to another You are so much stronger then me I know it is probably Sammantha that is giving you the strength and fighting everyday that comes but know someday when it is your time know she will be first in line to wrap there arms around you. HUGSX3 CHRISTINE MOTHER OF 3 GIRLS 1 BOY BE BRAVE!!!

March 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm
(5) tim atkinson says:

What this ‘man’ did is absolutely disgusting, there should be different sentences imposed on people like him e.g. alot more torturous so they know what sort of pain they put someone through…knowing their life is going to end. R.I.P Samantha.

June 6, 2009 at 6:55 pm
(6) john doe says:

I use to work with this guy back in 02 at a company in temecula called Guidant, he did seem kind of weird and a little off but i never would suspect he would do such a evil thing

July 9, 2009 at 11:58 pm
(7) Michelle in SA, TX says:

He should suffer as should all the other child molesters still running free!!! What a coward. I would like to cut it off and watch him bleed to death!!!! I have not forgotten Sam and my prayers go out to her and her family….

September 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm
(8) Haunted says:

Coming home from a great weekend with family and a trip to Sea world with my Husband and our two children (our daughter 9 and son 7) we decided to take a route that would get us to the 15 fwy from the 5 fwy to avoid the Holiday traffic. We took the 74 – The Ortega Hwy. At the time we made this decision, Samantha had not crossed my mind. As we drove thru the highway, the start of the drive seemed to be beautifully lined by trees and a lot of greenery. I few miles later a haunting awful feeling came over me and instantly Smantha came to mind. I could not recall where she was found while on this drive, but something in my soul made me feel as though she was there somewhere. An overwhelming sadness stayed with me even as we drove thru Lake Elsenore. This led me to look up details about Samantha’s passing and have come to realize that we passed thru the same hwy that that monster drove her thru!!! Even though I hadn’t known if in fact this was the same Hwy…..I thought about her and the fear and pain she experienced while driving thru that winding road. My empathy brings me to tears! As I try so hard in my life to never fill my heart with Hatred….it is extremely difficult to not wish agonizing, torturous acts amongst this man! Although I understand that it is his sickness that caused him to do this….I wish for the evil in his soul to allow his flesh to suffer while he have the gift of life on this earth. I had honestly hoped to find that he may be dead already, and have not found anything that states that. I truely hope that he is not being protected by our prison system, and they can soon rid him from this life! Amen
Dear Samantha, may your sweet soul be resting in peace!

September 23, 2009 at 6:10 am
(9) linda kniker says:

hope he rots in hell…he a worthless human being taking up air space…..these child molesters/murders are waste of time…..they all deserve DEATH!!!!!

March 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm
(10) I Hate Evil People says:

When is this loser going to die? I want to be there as a witness to watch as his life ends.
We, as a society, need to take command and change the justice system so that these people are wiped from the earth. If they see that the penalty for such horrendous actions is immediate death upon conviction, it won’t take long for these menaces to society to realize “Holy crap, I’m going to DIE quickly if I do something like this”, and if they feel they can’t control themselves, they will have no choice but to die.
I’m so tired of the same old thing when it comes to the legal system. Why are we continuing to pay for these criminals to enjoy a life sentence on death row, with television, food, workout facilities, etc.? That’s a better lifestyle than some Americans have right now. Stop feeling so damned “loving” and end their lives!

June 28, 2010 at 3:33 am
(11) no name says:

You all want to see him tortured and killed and are little better than him. Eye for an eye does not work.

July 9, 2010 at 3:14 am
(12) mommyto5 says:

“No Name” the last comment posted- You are a fool. Eye for an eye doesn’t work? Society should try to redeem a man who sexually crucified a 5 year-old . Her little life ended in fear, violence, and who knows how many of those hours she was conscios & aware. Reading your pathetic take on this is makes me feel you also should get some kind of penalty. There are criminals in the prison system who deserve a second look. But not this man.

July 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm
(13) elena says:

Oh my God, I know this guy I used to work with him in Temecula I think he was a cool person, I would never though.

November 20, 2010 at 4:28 am
(14) stephen winkler says:

If our system of justice continues to fail to protect our white children from Mexican predators like Alejandro Avila, then allow me to be the prophet once again.
National Socialism will not hesitate to step up to the plate and execute her solemn duty to administer justice.
If our white children will not be allowed to play in the streets without fear, then the illegal aliens too will not be allowed to roam our streets, without the permission of National Socialism.

November 27, 2010 at 6:04 am
(15) broken inside says:

I just wanted to say that I am a blood relative to this piece of crap and he deserves everything he gets. He molested his own sisters and his mother caught him doing it… she just had him sleep in a different room, and nothing else… who the hell does that?? I would have had him put away. I hate that bitch just as much as him. They both deserve to go to hell.

May 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm
(16) john says:

For a devout catholic like Avila who abuses kids goes and wins the lottery,He sure did a Satanic act to this poor Christian girl just to try to get away with it.Prepare to meet your virgin guadelupe,,In HELL!

July 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm
(17) donna aversa says:

when is this devil going to die its ten years today i hate him i dont hate anybody i hate him he is going to rot in hell maybe he could sit in hitlers lap;;;please die soon

September 16, 2012 at 9:47 am
(18) Lake Elsinore says:

644 inmates in death row..Why are we supporting these animals?..Get ready of all of them, there are better things we could use the money that supports these animals…

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