Sacto 9-1-1
September 11, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in '93 love triangle' murder?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Somewhere around 1994, Harry Ambler was murdered in a bizarre love triangle. Whatever happened to the convicted parties?
Submitted by: Brandon, Sacramento

ANSWER: Two men eventually were convicted of the 1993 shooting death of 26-year-old Harry Shahan Ambler Jr.

According to stories in The Bee, Gilbert Angel Hernandez, Benito Simpson and a third person who was never charged, Gilbert Rios, were identified by witnesses as having broken into Ambler's Bolinas Court home in Sacramento's south area on May 6, 1993.

Rios, who was given immunity, testified that he was duped into driving the other two men to Ambler's house. Rios said he was led to believe that he was going to catch Ambler in bed with his girlfriend. Instead, Ambler was in bed with Rios' sister.

The prosecutor argued that Simpson and Hernandez shot Ambler after they mistook him for an informant or an undercover officer who threatened their illicit business dealings.

A jury convicted Simpson, an ex-convict, of first-degree murder. He was sentenced in May 1994 to 25 years to life in state prison, according to Sacramento Superior Court online records.

In Hernandez's case, two juries deadlocked - the first favoring a guilty verdict and the second, acquittal -- before a third jury convicted him of second-degree murder. Hernandez was sentenced in November 1996 to 15 years to life in prison.

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