.September 12, 2005
A jury in Charlottesville has convicted Joel Salinas of second degree murder in the stabbing death of Candido Bello-Rivera.
It took this jury of 8 women and 4 men, 13 hours to come to that verdict.
Now a second degree murder charge requires a sentence anywhere between 5 and 40 years. This jury imposed just seven years on Salinas.
The jury agreed that when 26-year-old Salinas stabbed Bello Rivera it was 'not' premeditated but it was committed with malice.
Bello-Rivera's family was in the court room today. His brother had testified that he saw Salinas stab his brother in the heart on June 20th, 2004.
These two families were at one time friends and a fight that night escalated into Bello-Rivera's murder.
Now prosecutors told us tonight that they are pleased with the hard work this jury put into this verdict and they are confident they came back with the right verdict and the right sentence for Salinas.
The judge has scheduled a conference on Wednesday to determine a final sentencing date. Under Virginia law, the judge has the ability to either accept or change the jury's sentencing recommendation.