A 22-year-old man was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder for gunning down a woman who had been brawling with his mother in Garden Grove.
Nathaniel Joseph Liscano, who is scheduled to be sentenced March 8, faces up to 50 years to life in prison.
“It was just a completely senseless murder,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney said after the verdict was handed down.
Jurors, who had the option of considering the lesser counts of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, deliberated about two hours before convicting Liscano in the Aug. 24, 2016, shooting death of 31-year-old Kellie Louise Nichol.
Police responded to a shooting call at 13691 Purdy St. at 11:17 that night. The owner of the home regularly rented rooms, and would let friends like Nichol stay for a few days at a time, Birney said.
When police arrived at the home, they found Nichol had “been shot in the face, the chest and twice in her back,” the prosecutor told jurors.
Much of the evidence in the case stemmed from surveillance video from the home’s exterior, according to Birney, who showed the panel footage of the scrum that led to the gunfire.
Nichol had been having a back-and-forth over the phone and through text messages throughout the evening with the defendant’s mother, Sandy Liscano, Birney said.
“They were arguing over some guy and his pickup truck,” he said.
According to defense attorney Roger Sheaks, Nichol had been dating a man, who was in custody and had lent her his pickup truck among other items. The man wanted his truck back so he called the defendant’s mother, who was married to his recently deceased friend, to contact Nichol about getting the property returned, Sheaks said.
Sandy Liscano and Nichol exchanged challenges to fight, leading Sandy Liscano to come to the home where Nichol was staying on Purdy Street, Birney said. The two women got into a brawl on the front lawn, he said.
In the video, “you’ll see a male kick at Kelly when she’s on the ground,” Birney told the jury.
When the women finally stop tussling, the defendant “raises his right arm and fires a shot at Kellie from a short distance,” Birney said.
As Nichol attempted to run away, the defendant chased after her and opened fire again, Birney said.
Police traced the calls to Nichol back to Sandy Liscano, which led to her son’s arrest when police recognized him from past encounters with the law, Birney said.
The defendant was on the lam for 20 days before being arrested in Corpus Christi, Texas, the prosecutor said.
Sheaks argued that the arguments and fighting produced “legal provocation that reduced the murder to manslaughter.”
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