It took a jury just over an hour to find Joshua Orcasitas, 21, guilty of murder in the death of his mother’s live-in boyfriend.
Late Friday evening, Orcasitas was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the slaying.
During closing arguments in Orcasitas’ trial on Friday afternoon, prosecutors urged the jury to reject his self-defense claim that he made in an emotional call to 911 on the day of the shooting.
Orcasitas admitted killing Roger Hernandez, 43, when Hernandez tried to return to the family’s home after Delilah Orcasitas, his mother, had thrown him out earlier that day.
“Roger didn’t deserve to be shot like a dog in the streets,” prosecutor Karl Alexander told the jury during closing arguments.
Defense Attorney Michael Gross insisted this was a case of self-defense as he asked the jury to consider Orcasitas’ 911 call on the evening of July 11, 2012.
“What you guys heard in that 911 call was a scared, young, 19-year-old young man, completely terrorized about what happened,” Gross said.
He said that Hernandez had threatened the family and was dangerous, noting that he had a criminal record that included rape and assault convictions.
“It doesn’t matter if Roger was not a Boy Scout -- it doesn’t matter what Roger did in the past,” countered prosecutor Meredith Chacon.
She urged the jury to “stay laser-focused” on the evidence which, she argued, did not support the self-defense claim.
“He’s guilty of murder,” Alexander told the jury. “Find him guilty of that.”
The jury sentenced Orcasitas to 20 years in prison and made an affirmative finding, meaning that he will have to serve at least half of that sentence before he is eligible for parole.