A former soul singer who had popularity in the 1960s died in California on New Year’s Day, and a homeless man was charged in her death.
Rosendo Xo Pec, 22, was charged with the murder of Betty Jane Willis, on Wednesday and could face the death penalty, Fox News reported. He will be arraigned on Jan. 19.
Willis, who was homeless at the time of her death, was killed in a Santa Ana strip mall parking lot, according to reports.
The 76-year-old recorded songs such as “Someday You’ll Need My Love,” “Act Naturally,” and “Take My Heart” in the 1960s. Willis also recorded collaborations with the Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley and Leon Russell.
Willis had been sleeping in a parking lot when Pec started sexually assaulting her, Fox reported. He then killed her after she yelled for help.
A bystander then called police to alert them to the attack. Officers found Pec at the scene of the crime, ABC7 reported.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
ABC7 reported that Willis worked at the post office in Santa Ana, located in Southern California, before she went homeless.