Man to face murder charge in death of Cal Fire firefighter years after hit-and-run

A 30-year-old man serving a prison sentence for running down a firefighter with an SUV in the Richmond District will now face a murder charge after the victim died from injuries related to the hit and run, according to authorities.

The District Attorney’s Office said Eduardo Chaparro-Esquivel is expected to be arraigned Thursday on a single count of murder in connection with the death of Albert Bartal, a 35-year-old former Cal Fire firefighter and Marine who died April 17.

Jurors convicted Chaparro-Esquivel of various charges including torture in 2015 for hitting Bartal with a rented SUV after an argument at a Jack in the Box restaurant at Geary Boulevard and 11th Avenue in 2011.

SEE RELATED: SF police open homicide investigation after firefighter’s death

Chaparro-Esquivel struck Bartal at a speed of about 35 mph at a gas station two blocks away from the restaurant, the San Francisco Examiner reported at the time of the verdict. The impact threw the firefighter into the air, causing him to land head first on the curb and to go into a coma.

Earlier this year, the Yolo County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Bartal died in West Sacramento from complications related to blunt force injuries.

An obituary published in the San Francisco Chronicle described Bartal as a native San Franciscan and the father of a young daughter. He served as a sergeant in the Marines, was awarded combat ribbons and was stationed in Japan and Iraq.

Chaparro-Esquivel was booked on a murder charge at County Jail on Tuesday, according to jail records.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records show he has been serving his sentence at Folsom State Prison.

He was convicted of torture, mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon.

Michael Barba
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Michael Barba

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