A state appeals court panel Thursday upheld a man’s conviction for gunning down a former co-worker, whose body was found encased in concrete more than a week later in a Santa Fe Springs auto repair shop.
A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in the trial of Juan Alberto Galvez.
Galvez was convicted in October 2015 of first-degree murder for the Dec. 23, 2012, shooting death of Guillermo “William” Diaz, 38.
He was also found guilty of misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine.
Diaz’s body — which was buried and encased in concrete at a shop near 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, Deputy District Attorney Steven Schreiner said after the verdict.
Jurors heard from two witnesses who testified that Galvez had made threats against Diaz and another employee who worked at the sky light business from which he had been fired, the prosecutor said.
Galvez bought shotgun shells earlier that day while wearing a disguise, but told police he shot Diaz in self-defense, according to the prosecutor.
Galvez was arrested by Whittier police the day Diaz’s body was discovered.
He is serving a 50-year-to-life term in state prison.
—City News Service