Defendant Sentenced for Murdering Sister’s Boyfriend
DATE: July 1, 2020
CASE: Rafael “Ralph” Yokoi (Case #19FE014967)
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz, Homicide Unit
The Honorable Stacy Boulware Eurie sentenced Rafael “Ralph” Yokoi to 26 years to life in prison. On February 27, 2020, a jury convicted Yokoi of the first-degree murder of Mark Hamilton. The jury also found that Yokoi personally used a knife in the commission of the murder.
Rafael Yokoi was living with his two sisters. One sister was dating the victim, who would often stay the night at their house. On December 9, 2018, the victim and Yokoi got into a fist fight. The victim remained fearful of Yokoi and believed Yokoi would kill him. Two days later, the victim was found dead in his own home by a co-worker after he failed to show up for work. The victim suffered more than 32 stab wounds to his head, neck and chest. A search warrant of Yokoi’s house revealed a knife that was consistent with the wounds inflicted on the victim. The knife had been cleaned, but the District Attorney’s Crime Lab analyzed the leather sheath the knife was found in and it tested positive for the presence of the victim’s DNA and blood. Blood was also found in Yokoi’s sister’s car. Yokoi eventually confessed to killing the victim.