Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A fired employee could be sentenced next month to 50 years to life after he was convicted of first-degree murder for the shotgun killing of a former co-worker, whose body was found encased in concrete more than a week later in the Santa Fe Springs area.

Jurors deliberated about 1 1/2 days before finding Juan Galvez, 38, guilty Friday of the Dec. 23, 2012, shooting death of Guillermo “William” Diaz, 38, according to Deputy District Attorney Steven Schreiner.

The panel also found true an allegation that Galvez personally discharged a firearm, along with a separate charge of possession of methamphetamine.

Diaz’s body — which was buried and encased in concrete at a shop nearby where the defendant lived and worked — was unearthed eight days later, after Galvez’s brother-in-law went to police to report his suspicion that Galvez might have been involved in the victim’s disappearance, according to the prosecutor.

Jurors heard from two witnesses who testified that Galvez had made threats against Diaz and another employee who worked at the business from which he had been fired, Schreiner said.

Galvez bought shotgun shells earlier that day while wearing a disguise, but told police that he shot Diaz in self-defense, according to the prosecutor.

Galvez was arrested by Whittier police the day Diaz’s body was discovered, and he has remained jailed since then.

He is facing up to 50 years to life in state prison, with sentencing set for Nov. 12.

— City News Service

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