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DA: Murder victim beaten, choked
June 20, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Paul Ahern

The 46-year-old man who prosecutors say died at the hands of a Redwood City transient was knocked into a car and the ground repeatedly before his attacker kept him in a choke hold for 10 minutes.

Details of how Michael Gonzales, 46, died came to light as his alleged killer Paul Robert Ahern, 53, appeared in court a second time on one count of murder. Ahern identified his court-appointed attorney but put off entering a plea and setting any future appearances until July 8.

Prosecutors say witnesses reported that Ahern, known to sheriff’s deputies as an alcoholic transient, got the best of Gonzales as they fought around 8:15 p.m. June 9 at Middlefield Road and Fourth Street. Authorities say the two men knew each other and were possibly drinking together prior to the fight but have not said what they think sparked the altercation between them.

Ahern reportedly screamed several times he was going to kill Gonzales while first punching him in the head and then slamming his head into a car four times. The attack finished with the choke hold and responding deputies found an unconscious Gonzales face down on the sidewalk with Ahern 3 feet away. Gonzales was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gonzales died from injuries inflicted in the attack, according to the Coroner’s Office.

Ahern has two previous convictions for trespassing on open lands.

He remains in custody without bail.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Irfan Zaidi at 363-4192 or the anonymous tip line at (800) 547-2700.


(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: ahern, gonzales,

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