A 40-year-old man was found guilty Thursday of strangling his boyfriend, whose body parts were found in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign nearly four years earlier.
Gabriel Campos-Martinez was convicted by a jury in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom in the killing of Hervey Coronado Medellin, a 66-year-old retired airline worker.
Campos-Martinez was found guilty of first-degree murder after the jury deliberated for 1 1/2 days, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Medellin died of asphyxiation on or about Dec. 27, 2011, the DA’s office said. His head was discovered by two hikers on Jan. 17, 2012.
Hands and feet were later found nearby, police said at the time.
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace said the jury was swayed by the fact that Campos-Martinez had looked at an article about how to dismember a human carcass for consumption on Dec. 27, 2011.
It still was not known where Medellin was killed, and his torso was never found, Grace said.
But during the trial, new details emerged that could lead to the discovery of the rest of the victim’s body.
The county deputy medical examiner who handled the case told Grace that he learned last month that federal tests on tissue specimens found buried in the mouth of the popular Bronson Canyon caves matched Medellin, the prosecutor said outside the courtroom Thursday.
The tissue was found in March 2014 and was sent to the U.S. Department of Justice for a DNA profile that was not returned until September 2015, Grace said. Los Angeles Police Department investigators planned to search the area, Grace said.
The body parts had been refrigerated, according to the prosecutor.
“Unfortunately, it shows a high level of desensitization toward the value of people’s lives,” Grace said. “People have to be very careful about who you allow into your space, who you … become attached to.”
Campos-Martinez was arrested in Texas in March 2014. He had been a person of interest since the discovery of the remains, police said.
The couple lived together for about six months at Medellin’s Hollywood apartment.
He was slated to return for sentencing on Nov. 16. He faces 25 years to life in state prison.