Dino Rojas-Moreno faces death penalty if convicted
Laguna Beach bartender Dino Rojas-Moreno, 26, was charged with special circumstances murder today for beating Tatum Lee Goodwin, 27, to death with a fire extinguisher on Nov. 12, according to documents released by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Rojas-Moreno of Laguna Hills has been charged with one felony count of murder, one felony enhancement of special circumstances of committing the murder in the commission of a kidnapping and one felony enhancement for the personal use of a weapon, a fire extinguisher, authorities said.
Rojas-Moreno is eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
The DA’s office reports that Rojas-Moreno is accused of approaching Goodwin in a nearby parking lot around 1 a.m. and assaulting her near her parked car.
“Rojas-Moreno then forcefully dragged her to the rear of the parking lot, down a short alley, and to a secluded area behind a movie theatre that was under construction,” the District Attorney’s office stated in a release. “Rojas-Moreno is then accused of beating Goodwin to death with a fire extinguisher.”
On Nov. 12, 2023, at about 8:20 a.m., the body of Goodwin was discovered by a construction worker at a construction site in the 200 block of Ocean Avenue in Laguna Beach.
Authorities said Goodwin’s body was found under a chain link fence at the construction site, with a sandbag on her head.
The DA’s office said whether Goodwin had any previous connection with Rojas-Moreno is still unknown.
On the day of the murder, Rojas-Moreno, who worked at the Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach, didn’t show up to his shift, claiming several men in Santa Ana had jumped him, authorities said.
“The loss of an innocent life is a travesty for the entire community,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “It is heartbreaking that a young woman with her entire future ahead of her had her life ended in such a brutal way and then discarded like her life never matter. She mattered, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring justice is served.”
Rojas-Moreno is being held without bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 20 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana in Department C5.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Moore of the Homicide Unit is the lead prosecutor in this case.