LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A jury on Wednesday convicted a Long Beach man for the 2012 murder of his neighbor.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the jury deliberated for a day-and-a-half before finding Mark Stephen Thurwachter, 58, guilty in the first-degree murder of Marvin Williams, 60.
The jury also found true the allegation that Thurwachter personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing death.
From the outset, Thurwachter pleaded no contest to a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Thurwachter is scheduled to be sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James B. Pierce on Feb. 26. At sentencing, the convicted murderer faces a maximum sentence of 50 years, eight months to life in state prison.
Thurwachter and Williams were neighbors at Arbor Mobile Village in Long Beach. Although the two men were initially friendly, Thurwachter came to believe Williams had stolen money from him, Deputy District Attorney Patrick O’Crowley said.
On the evening of Feb. 1, 2012, people living in the mobile home community heard a shot and found Williams fatally injured in front of his residence. The defendant, who had been at the crime scene moments before, never returned home, the prosecutor said.
A warrant was issued for Thurwachter’s arrest five days later. He was apprehended March 28, 2012 in Ohio after allegedly trying to evade paying a transit fare. He subsequently was held on $2 million bail.
During the trial, a Long Beach Police crime lab expert testified that a shell casing found at the murder scene was linked to ammunition discovered in the defendant’s vehicle.