A jury convicted a Simi Valley man of second-degree murder in a 2009 death. Prosecutors initially sought a first degree homicide charge, but the jury opted for a lesser offense. The same jury failed to reach a verdict on a residential burglary charge.
According to prosecutors, a friend found the victim on the floor of her home in 2009. The woman was known as a regular drug user, and autopsy findings showed heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine in her system. Initially, the coroner ruled the death an accidental overdose.
Prosecutors alleged however that the man and a female companion went to the victim’s house to steal her mail. Investigators showed that the pair was committing identity theft against the victim, and went to the home for that purpose. The female companion lived with the victim at one time, but moved out after a falling-out. An altercation broke out between the women, during which the man restrained the woman’s dog. The coroner reclassified the victim’s death as a homicide, ruling that she had been smothered.
The former roommate also faces charges in the victim’s death. Prosecutors have not yet tried her, but they accuse her of first degree murder. The roommate’s former husband, a third accomplice, pleaded guilty to burglary in December 2016.
Simi Valley Murder Attorney
When you face homicide charges, hire an experienced murder attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, and takes homicide cases in Ventura County.
Homicide is the most serious charge you can face in California. Although the State has not executed a prisoner in over a decade, the death penalty is alive and well here. With a first-degree homicide conviction, you can spend the rest of your life in prison with or without parole. A second-degree murder conviction can result in a sentence of 15 years to life. Parole may or may not be a possibility.
Your best defense is an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Don’t rely on an inexperienced defender, or one who won’t fight for your freedom. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.
Photo Credit: finalwitness, via Flickr.com