MODESTO -- A Stanislaus County jury has found a 24-year-old man guilty of second-degree murder in the beating death of his 65-year-old father after the two were involved in a fight at their Waterford home nearly three years ago.
Jurors also convicted Jose Eusebio Corona of battery causing serious bodily injury in the death of his father, Tomas Botello Corona.
After listening to testimony and deliberating in the two-week trial, the jury returned to the courtroom with a verdict Aug. 31.
The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 19 years to life in prison, said Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley. A Stanislaus County Superior Court judge will sentence Corona on Oct. 1.
It's unclear what led to the dispute between the two men Jan. 11, 2010. Shipley said investigators learned that Corona became angry with his father for some reason.
Sheriff's officials have said the fight began about 6:30 p.m. in the front portion of their house in the 500 block of Stein Way. It ended minutes later.
Deputies arrived and found the father lying unconscious in the driveway and Corona detained by neighbors across the street.
Shipley said investigators found the father's DNA on the flat part of a garden hoe blade, but the defendant never admitted to using it as a weapon. Shipley said Corona testified that he hit, kicked and stomped on his father in the kitchen and the driveway.
The father suffered a broken nose, along with hemorrhages on the top and back of his head and on his left and right temples, according to prosecutors. The cause of death was blunt force injuries.
Corona's mother was in a back room of the house when she heard the commotion and ran out of the home to ask neighbors to call 911, according to sheriff's officials. The two men were fighting before she figured out what was going on.
Shipley said evidence presented in the trial indicated the defendant tested positive for marijuana, but authorities do not know what effect that had on Corona at the time of the fight.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2394.