A 24-year-old man was convicted Friday of the beating death of a 60-year-old man in Long Beach inside the motor home where he lived, marking the second defendant to be found guilty of the crime.
The Long Beach Superior Court jury found Anthony Josua Paz, 24, guilty of second-degree murder for the Jan. 27, 2014, killing of Thomas Taylor, 60, attacked in his motor home in an alley behind the 500 block of West 17th Street.
Jurors deadlocked on an arson charge against him that was subsequently dismissed.
He is set to be sentenced Jan. 18 and is facing up to 15 years to life in prison for the killing.
The same jury convicted co-defendant Jazmin Montanez, 37, of first- degree murder on Thursday. She is set to be sentenced Dec. 15 and could face 25 years to life behind bars.
Three other defendants — Diana Sequen, 23; Jose Zolorza, 21; and David Romero — each pleaded guilty last year to assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the attack and were sentenced to eight years in state prison.
The victim had allowed the five to visit him and do drugs together at his recreational facility until he decided that he wanted more privacy and asked them to come back, according to evidence presented during the trial.
Deputy District Attorney Rachel Hardiman described Montanez as the “catalyst” for the crime, saying that she told the group that she wanted him dead.
Police discovered the motor home after smelling smoke while on routine patrol, and determined the vehicle had been set on fire with his body inside.
The victim’s dog was inside the vehicle, but was not hurt.
— City News Service