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Bartender Accused of Beating California Woman to Death With Fire Extinguisher, Covering Her Head With Sandbag

Bartender Beat Woman to Death With Fire Extinguisher: DA
Source: Orange County Sheriff's Office; Unsplash

Dino Rojas-Moreno has been charged with the murder of Tatum Goodwin, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Nov. 22 2023, Published 1:01 p.m. ET

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A bartender in Southern California has appeared in court for the first time since allegedly beating a woman to death with a fire extinguisher.

Dino Rojas-Moreno, 26, pleaded not guilty to murder with special circumstances at an arraignment hearing on Nov. 20, Knewz.com reported.

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Rojas-Moreno is accused of killing 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin in Laguna Beach early in the morning on Nov. 12. He was arrested on Nov. 15, according to the Laguna Beach Police Department.

The defendant approached Goodwin at a parking lot around 1 a.m. and assaulted her before dragging her through an alley and behind a movie theater that was under construction, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

That's where Rojas-Moreno allegedly beat Goodwin with the fire extinguisher and left her under a chain-link fence with a sandbag covering her head. A construction worker found her body hours later, the D.A. said.

When he didn't show up for work that day, Rojas-Moreno claimed he had been jumped by a group of men in Santa Ana.

Rojas-Moreno is charged with murder, along with a felony enhancement for committing the killing during a kidnapping and another enhancement for using a "deadly weapon," the fire extinguisher, according to the D.A.

A reporter with KABC-TV spoke to family members of Goodwin outside the courtroom Monday.

"There is no soul to look at there," Goodwin's sister told the outlet.

Another family member reportedly called the loss of their loved one "a random act of sinful hate."

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Friends and family also reportedly said Goodwin did not know Rojas-Moreno.

The San Clemente woman was the assistant manager of a restaurant near the parking lot where she was allegedly attacked, according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for a memorial.

"Tatum was a very hard working young lady and always kept a smile on her face," her boss said on the crowdfunding site. "We felt that we really had a family member here with us."

Rojas-Moreno also worked as a bartender nearby, but KABC-TV said it was unclear whether he was working the evening before the alleged attack.

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Rojas-Moreno is eligible for the death penalty if convicted, the D.A. said. He remains in jail without bail and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Jan. 30, 2024.

“The loss of an innocent life is a travesty for the entire community,” Orange County D.A. Todd Spitzer said. “It is heartbreaking that a young woman with her entire future ahead of her had her life ended in such a brutal way and then discarded like her life never mattered."

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