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Tucson man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in girlfriend's 2018 killing

Tucson man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in girlfriend's 2018 killing

Joshua Hilaire

Joshua Hilaire

A 23-year-old Tucson man accused in the 2018 killing of his live-in girlfriend pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Thursday.

Joshua Hilaire was facing charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, in connection with the May 6, 2018 death of 18-year-old Rosaura Hernandez.

Hilaire, who has been in the Pima County jail since turning himself into Tucson police two days after Hernandez's death, pleaded guilty Thursday to an amended count of domestic violence-related second-degree murder, according to a Pima County Superior Court spokeswoman.

Family members broke into the midtown apartment Hilaire and Hernandez shared on May 6, 2018, several hours after they were unable to reach her. They found her unresponsive and police later declared her dead at the scene, according to Arizona Daily Star archives.

Earlier in the day, Hernandez told family members she was fighting with her boyfriend and asked for a ride from their apartment, located in the 1200 block of South Craycroft Road.

A family member arrived a few minutes later, but there was no answer at the door. At about 7 p.m. officers went to the apartment, but there was still no answer. Officers were called back to the apartment about two hours later, when they learned family members had forced their way inside the apartment, Star archives show.

Hilaire's guilty plea carries a presumptive sentence of 16 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. He's scheduled for sentencing on March 23.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at or 573-4191


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