A state appellate court panel has upheld a man’s conviction for raping and strangling a 20-year-old woman whose body was wrapped in a blanket and dumped in a shopping cart in Los Angeles nearly three years ago.
On Thursday, jurors found Rene Rolando Ailon Castro guilty of first-degree murder and forcible rape of Maylin Zulian Fuentes-Sanabria, along with finding true the special-circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a rape.
The young woman was raped and strangled when she went to the defendant’s apartment in the 1500 block of South Gramercy Place May 13, 2017.
After killing her, the defendant went to work and kept the body in his apartment for 24 hours before wrapping it a blanket and leaving it in a discarded shopping cart several blocks away, according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson.
A resident came upon the body a short time later, and the defendant was linked to the crime through DNA evidence and phone records, the prosecutor said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office opted not to seek the death penalty against the defendant, and he was sentenced last March to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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