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.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.