SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A 27-year-old man was convicted Friday of beating his drinking buddy to death with an ax handle.
Prosecutors argue Jorge Santiago Avalos was visiting 50-year-old Hilario Urquiza at his Santa Ana home on Sept. 18, 2008 when a conflict triggered Avalos to fatally strike his friend.
The conflict began when Avalos put on some music that Urquiza didn’t like, according to Karren Kenney, who represented Avalos in 2012 when the case was first tried and ended in a mistrial. She argued that Avalos was acting in self defense after seeing Urquiza had a knife strapped to his belt.
Avalos killed Urquiza, took the victim’s Jeep and fled, ditching the vehicle when it ran out of gas, according to Deputy District Attorney Susan Price.
Urquiza’s son arrived that same day to find his father had been murdered. The defendant’s DNA was later found on an ax handle at Urquiza’s home in the 1200 block of South Magnolia Avenue.
Avalos, who is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20, faces 15 years to life in prison.
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