LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former Los Angeles Fire Department captain who murdered a woman at his Eagle Rock home and dumped her body about a mile away was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in prison.
David Del Toro, 55, was convicted March 17 of second-degree murder for the Aug. 16, 2006, slaying of Jennifer Flores.
The naked and bloody body of the 42-year-old Flores was found in the early morning hours that day less than a mile from Del Toro’s home.
Del Toro did not speak during the sentencing hearing on the advice of his attorney, who said an appeal would be filed. Some of his friends and relatives did address the court, as did some relatives of the victim.
During his trial, Del Toro denied he had killed Flores or felt any ill will toward the woman, whom he met in 2000 through a former roommate. But he said he was so drunk he could not remember everything that happened that day.
“For a fact, I don’t remember killing her,” he told jurors. “I don’t believe I killed her … I just didn’t kill her. I don’t know how I’d know — but I didn’t kill her.”
He told jurors he had no romantic interest in Flores and no reason to kill the woman, whom he said he allowed to stay at his home occasionally in 2006 because she seemed to be homeless and living out of her car.
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace said that, after the woman rejected Del Toro’s sexual advances, he broke her nose, jaw and ribs and choked her to death, then dragged her body from his pickup truck through the neighborhood to the street where her corpse was discovered.
Police officers followed a trail of blood and tire tracks from the victim’s body to Del Toro’s front door, the prosecutor said.
Del Toro is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department. He has been jailed for just over five years.
Last month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito denied the defense’s motion for a new trial. The defense alleged that there was jury misconduct.
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