The observant eyes of police officers and video surveillance helped Tulare County prosecutors gain a first-degree murder conviction in the hammer beating of Jose Magana.
A jury convicted Rosa Baca, 55, on Monday for the 2018 murder of Magana, her 38-year-old boyfriend, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release on Wednesday.
Baca faces life in prison without the possibility of parole at her July 31 scheduled sentencing.
On the morning of Dec. 17, 2018, Porterville police and medics responded to a report of a man needing aid at a trailer on south Indiana Street. Magana died the next day.
According to court documents, Baca told officers that after an argument Magana left the trailer, only to return the next morning badly injured.
However, it became immediately apparent to investigators that the story didn’t add up. Magana wasn’t wearing a shirt or shoes. And, his feet were completely clean even though the ground outside was muddied by rain.
Baca insisted that she has remained home all night. However, her car was warm to the touch and there were muddy tire tracks at the scene. Under questioning, she admitted to beating Magana with a hammer and depositing his and her bloody clothes in a dumpster.
Nearby video surveillance provided evidence that she had left and returned to the trailer several times during the night.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Adam Clare prosecuted the case.