A jury has convicted 50-year-old Robert George Arvizu of murdering Courtney Arvizu, his wife of two months.
Jurors who weighed the evidence presented in a week-long murder trial delivered a verdict of guilty on all counts including first-degree murder Monday morning in the smothering death of Courtney Arvizu, 25.
“He was found guilty on all counts,” a clerk in Department 1 at the San Fernando Superior Court told The Signal Monday morning.
Jurors began deliberating Friday afternoon and resumed deliberations Monday at 8:30 a.m.
They delivered their verdict about 10:45 a.m., the court clerk said.
“Arvizu was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury,” Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
The assault convictions stem from attacks inflicted on a man whom Arvizu accused of having flirted with his wife on May 23, 2015, the night he killed her.
Arvizu is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 15, Ardalani said.
Courtney Arvizu’s stepmother, Anna Burton, said the verdict was the right on, noting that family members are still struggling with the young woman’s death two years later.
“With a verdict comes some resolve that justice was served and we can start to now being our healing,” Burton told The Signal Monday, moments after the verdict was delivered.
“There’s no way to get back what we’ve lost,” she said.
Burton and her husband both work in law enforcement. Burton was picked to work on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Domestic Violence Task Force.
In October, Garcetti announced the City of Los Angeles was awarded $425,000 from the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. The three-year grant will be dedicated to enhancing policies, procedures, and training that assist the City and its partners in providing thorough domestic and sexual abuse response to victims with all types of disabilities.
Burton said Monday that her stepdaughter’s murder has only galvanized her commitment to the task force.
“It changed this family forever,” she said. “Every holiday, every Christmas, her death is with us.
“This guy (Arvizu) was a predator. He isolated her. He threatened her,” Burton said.
Born Courtney Burton in Los Angeles and raised in Canoga Park, Courtney married Robert Arvizu in Las Vegas on March 27 and the couple moved into a two-story white stucco apartment building on 9th Street near Newhall Avenue.
“She wanted to grow up and have a family like everybody else,” Burton told The Signal shortly after the murder.
“She has two brothers and two sisters and an older sister, who will miss her now for the rest of their lives,” she said at the time. “She also has a mother, father and stepmother who are forever changed.”
Two years later, Burton still describes a family damaged forever.
On Monday, Burton recalled having spoken to Courtney on the phone a week before her death.
“She was going to come to her brother’s baseball game,” she said, Monday.
Closing arguments in the case wrapped up Friday morning with the continuation of defense arguments made by Arvizu’s lawyer C. Edward Mack which began late Thursday afternoon.
Jurors who have listened to testimony since July 20 inside a 4th floor courtroom at San Fernando Superior Court began deliberating about 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Much of the evidence presented and questioned in the case centered on the evening of May 23, 2015, the last day anyone recalled seeing Arvizu’s wife Courtney alive.
The body of 25-year-old Courtney Arvizu, was found inside her husband’s Newhall apartment on 9th Street between Newhall Avenue and Chestnut Street, shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday May 24, 2015.
She had been punched in the face and then smothered to death, according to evidence presented by Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer.
“Her marriage to the defendant started with violence and ended with violence,” Kramer said during her closing arguments delivered Thursday.
Kramer was referring to an incident of domestic violence during with Courtney was strangled, an incident investigated by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department in March 2015, a day after the couple was married.
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