One of two men charged in the March 2013 abduction of a 10-year-old girl from the bedroom of her Northridge home was acquitted Thursday of kidnapping, but convicted of burglary.
The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated about a day before acquitting Daniel Martinez, 31, of kidnapping and convicting him of first-degree burglary with a person present. He is set to be sentenced Nov. 7.
Martinez was charged along with Tobias Dustin Summers, 33, in the girl’s March 27, 2013, abduction.
Summers — who will be tried separately — is charged with kidnapping and burglary, along with numerous sexual assault counts.
During the trial’s opening statements, Deputy District Attorney Laura Knight Jackson described Martinez and Summers as having been “friends for years” and “partners in crime.”
She told the Los Angeles Superior Court jury that the evidence would show that Summers took the girl from her bedroom and to a car in an alley where Martinez was waiting.
The prosecutor told jurors that Martinez asked Summers, “What’s up with the little girl?” and that Summers replied, “It got weird. I had to take her.”
The prosecutor told the panel that Martinez drove away from the scene before leaving Summers with the girl.
Defense attorney Anthony W. Rayburn countered that Summers set out on his own to commit a burglary over Martinez’s objection.
Martinez’s attorney said his client told Summers he had to take the girl somewhere safe after Summers returned to the car with her.
Authorities said the girl was taken from her bedroom at knifepoint, taken to various locations and sexually assaulted before being dropped off at a Woodland Hills-area hospital.
Summers was arrested in April 2013 at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center south of Tijuana, Mexico.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck — who said Summers was seen on surveillance tape crossing a foot bridge into Mexico — said a $25,000 reward that was “highly publicized south of the border” led to the telephone tip about Summers’ whereabouts.
Martinez had been arrested just under a month earlier by Los Angeles police.
— City News Service
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