A Long Beach man was found guilty Thursday of murdering a Cal State Northridge student after responding to the victim’s car sale ad.
A San Fernando jury deliberated just 15 minutes before convicting Agustin Rosendo Fernandez, 29, of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi of Saudi Arabia, whose body was discovered near Palm Springs in 2014.
The panel of nine men and three women also found true special circumstance allegations that the murder of the 23-year-old engineering student was committed during a robbery and carjacking and also the allegation that Fernandez used a knife as a deadly weapon.
Fernandez is scheduled to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Aug. 12. Prosecutors previously decided against seeking the death penalty.
Alkadi disappeared Sept. 17, 2014, from his home near the CSUN campus. His body was found about a month later along Interstate 10 east of Cook Street in Palm Desert, about 40 miles east of the Beaumont location where Alkadi’s cell phone was used just before being deactivated.
Prosecutors said Alkadi had listed an Audi A5 convertible for sale on Craigslist at more than $30,000, and Fernandez met up with Alkadi in Northridge after responding to the ad.
The Audi was later found parked at Fernandez’ apartment in the 6800 block of Long Beach Boulevard.
Fernandez was arrested in October 2014 and made statements that led to Alkadi’s body.
Shortly after Fernandez was arrested, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck cautioned the public to take precautions when placing or responding to online ads.
“The investigation determined that Agustin Fernandez killed Mr. Alkadi in an attempt to keep both the Audi and the purchase price,” the police chief said then. “The message for the public here is that you have to beware when using online Internet sites to sell anything. Craigslist, eBay, all the other opportunities for sales are also opportunities to let unwanted people into your lives.”
— Wire reports