Man found guilty in case of burned woman in Merced County
MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Merced County man has been found guilty of burning a woman to death. Tuesday afternoon, a jury found Luis Valencia guilty of first degree murder with the enhancements of kidnapping, torture and mayhem.
Prosecutors say Valencia and three other men killed Rosa Avina in October 2007. The other defendants are being tried separately. The woman was found badly burned and barely alive in a Merced County field. She died days later at a hospital. Prosecutors say the men kidnapped Avina from a home in Turlock, then put her in the trunk of a car and killed her because of stolen drugs. Valencia now faces life without the possibility of parole.
Merced Co. District Attorney, Steven Slocum said, "I'm gratified the jurors were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt Mr. Valencia was responsible for her death or at least one of those responsible for her death."
Valencia will be sentenced October 19th. The three other men are still awaiting trial.
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