On June 13, a jury found Samuel Horn guilty of the August 7, 2004, murder of Paulette Valenzuela, singer of hard rock/metal band the Abuse. Last month, the judge sentenced the 22-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus another 25 years to life to run consecutively.
According to prosecuting deputy district attorney Paul Kalivas, a friendly encounter led to Horn's shooting and killing Valenzuela.
"She was at a bar in Ocean Beach with some friends," Kalivas says. "After the bar closed -- she was at Sunshine Company Limited -- she was walking home with a guy she had met there. On their way home to her place, they stopped at a 7-Eleven store to buy some water or cigarettes or something. There she ran into Horn and his two companions in a car in the parking lot. They just struck up a conversation. They had never met each other before. She found out they were looking for a place to go party and hang out. She invited them back to her house with the other guy she was with. They gave her a ride back to her house."
Kalivas says the after-party turned violent when Valenzuela caught Horn stealing food from her freezer.
"It was a steak," says Valenzuela's friend, Rachel Esguerra. "She and her neighbor were outside. When they came back in, a frozen steak had fallen out of his coat. She's the kind of girl that doesn't take any crap. She confronted him and said something like, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe what you're doing. Why would you do that?' He said, 'I was hungry.' Basically it escalated into him saying, 'Fuck this. This is a robbery now,' and pulled out his gun."
Kalivas says police knew Horn's identity within hours of the shooting because witnesses (three of Valenzuela's neighbors who were partying at her apartment on the 4200 block of Voltaire Street) described a tattoo on the left side of Horn's neck that said "Snoopy."
Horn fled to Rosarito and stayed with an uncle until he was captured and deported to the U.S. Horn's mother tipped off both the Mexican authorities and SDPD as to where her son was hiding.
One year after the murder, Valenzuela's friends and former bandmates organized an August 10 memorial concert at 'Canes. Six Foot Deathtrap, Difficult Henry, Aghori, and Jenix played. Following the Abuse's disbandment, drummer Johnny Verbeek and bassist Derek Waters joined Six Foot Deathtrap; guitarist Shaun Frude plays with Aghori.