An Military veteran was convicted Thursday of beating an aged lady to demise whereas she was strolling in a Backyard Grove neighborhood the place they each lived.
Michael Aon Varela, 36, was convicted of first-degree homicide after a prolonged trial by an Orange County Superior Court docket jury of the “brutal assault, tried rape and homicide of 68-year-old Dzung Nguyen,” stated Backyard Grove police.
The jurors additionally decided that the homicide occurred throughout an tried rape, based on courtroom information.
The homicide befell on September 10, 2017, when officers responded to reviews of a feminine down close to 13432 Balos Drive round 5 a.m.
Arriving officers discovered Nguyen on the entrance garden of a house, partially bare and with blunt-force trauma to her face.
Subsequent to her, Varela was “discovered shirtless, lined in blood, together with his pants fly unbuttoned and a number of accidents that seemed to be protection wounds on his physique,” authorities stated.
An preliminary investigation discovered Varela’s statements inconsistent with proof discovered on the scene and he was positioned below arrest.
Nguyen was transported to an area hospital and died from her accidents ten days later. She was recognized to get pleasure from lengthy walks within the neighborhood whereas gathering recyclable gadgets.
Based on the Orange County Register, a drunken Varela “beat her and he brutalized her, ripped her garments off and when she didn’t submit he continued to beat her till she went unconscious, grew to become unresponsive and in the end died a number of days later,’” Deputy District Legal professional Casey Cunningham informed jurors on the trial.
Nguyen’s DNA was discovered on Varela’s personal components and Varela’s DNA was discovered on Nguyen’s clothes, the O.C. Register reviews. Varela was additionally discovered with scratches throughout his physique, together with on his arm, knee and above one eye.
Though the assault was not captured by safety cameras, prosecutors stated video captured the headlights of Varela’s approaching automobile round 4:38 a.m. that morning together with recyclables seen strewn throughout the road round 5:09 a.m. Investigators believed the assault occurred inside that point slot.
In the course of the trial, Varela’s lawyer acknowledged the suspect was drunk when he arrived residence, after spending the evening at bars in Fullerton and Stanton, the O.C. Register reported. At one level, the lawyer stated Varela tripped whereas leaving a bar at closing time and fell face-down on the pavement earlier than vomiting on himself as he drove residence.
Varela was born and raised in Orange County and enlisted within the U.S. Military after highschool, based on Metropolis Information Service. Two years in, he was discharged from the navy after being caught drunk driving and opening the incorrect gate to the place he was residing on the time.
The sufferer, Nguyen, was recognized across the neighborhood and described as a quiet, unassuming lady, officers stated. She and her husband preferred to get up early and luxuriate in lengthy walks within the neighborhood whereas gathering recyclable gadgets they discovered alongside the best way.
“Her life was unjustly lower brief, in essentially the most horrific of how,” police stated. “We hope this conviction brings closure and a small measure of peace to her family members.”
Varela’s sentencing listening to is scheduled for Aug. 4.
Counsel a Correction