Following an afternoon and several morning hours of deliberation, jurors hand down a guilty verdict in the first-degree murder case of Hector Zambrano, who's accused of killing his wife, 44-year-old Patricia Reyes Zambrano in April 2004.
During the two-week trial, Zambrano did admit to strangling his wife to death, but said he was too drunk at the time to realize what he was doing and claimed it was a crime of passion.
During closing arguments, Zambrano's attorney Steve Laiche urged jurors that the murder was not planned and asked them to consider a second–degree murder conviction. Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said the trial went as well as it could of, but adds the sense of victory is different with a first–degree murder trial.
Zambrano was also found guilty on second and third-degree assault and violation of a restraining order, all of which were the result of a domestic violence incident involving Zambrano and Reyes just a month and-a-half before her murder.
The defendant will be sentenced on May 17, the first–degree murder conviction carries with it an automatic life in prison without parole penalty.
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