Courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

A Riverside County woman was convicted Thursday of second- degree murder for the September 2014 stabbing death of a woman in unincorporated South Whittier.

Jurors deliberated about four hours before finding Vanessa Celaya, 30, of Rubidoux, guilty of the Sept. 5, 2014, killing of Michelle Young, 31, of Los Angeles, and of the first-degree robbery of a night watchman at a nearby tire shop shortly after the killing.

The jury acquitted Celaya of first-degree murder in Young’s killing, along with a burglary charge involving the tire shop.

Celaya stabbed Young 11 times following a verbal confrontation about 11 p.m. in the 11500 block of Obert Avenue, according to Deputy District Attorney Andrea Mader.

Celaya demanded a change of clothing from a night watchman at the tire shop before leaving the store, according to the prosecutor.

She was arrested soon afterward by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and has remained behind bars since then.

Celaya is facing up to 18 years and four months to life in state prison, with sentencing set for March 8 before Judge John A. Torribio.

–City News Service

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