Ex-BCSO corporal convicted of second-degree murder in California sentenced to 15 years

Cpl. Giovanni Ceja was a 5-year veteran with the sheriff’s office before resigning from his position

Giovanni Ceja (KSAT 12 News)

SAN ANTONIO – A former Bexar County Sheriff’s Office corporal arrested last year has been convicted of second-degree murder in connection with a case out of California.

Giovanni Ceja, 31, was sentenced to 15 years to life for the murder of 38-year-old Gilberto Sotelo on Aug. 7, 2023.

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Ceja borrowed a vehicle from a relative and struck and killed a man on the side of Interstate 215 in Riverside County. He fled from the scene. However, Sheriff Javier Salazar said pieces of the vehicle were left behind.

Between Aug. 6 and Aug. 14, Ceja returned to San Antonio and resumed his duties with the department.

On Aug. 14, BCSO received a call from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, stating it had an active murder warrant for Ceja.

After he was arrested without incident, Ceja was booked and extradited to California to face charges and go to trial.

Ceja was a 5-year veteran with the sheriff’s office before resigning from his position. He was hired on Jan. 6, 2018.

About the Authors

Mason Hickok is a digital journalist at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, reading and watching movies.

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

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