Man sentenced to three years for accidentally killing boyfriend

Court gavel
Signal File Photo.

A Valencia man who was found guilty of accidentally killing his boyfriend five years ago was sentenced Wednesday to three years in jail, according to court officials.  

Christian Ortiz, 26, was convicted on May 18 of one count of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of his boyfriend Brayan Rodriguez, whose body was found inside a closet in a house on the 23600 block of Via Valer, near Valencia Glen Park, on Sept. 24, 2017.  

Greg Risling, a spokesman at the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, confirmed Thursday that Ortiz had been sentenced to three years in county jail with no other stipulations provided. 

In the closing statements of the case, the prosecution argued that Ortiz had planned to murder Rodriguez, ultimately strangling him in the days leading up to the body being found.   

The defense argued that Ortiz and Rodriguez had been seen on the Via Valer house camera entering Ortiz’s Valencia home holding hands and that the man’s death had been an accident as a result of erotic asphyxiation.  

Ultimately, it seems the jury sided with the explanation provided by Ortiz’s lawyer, and settled on a lesser charge. Ortiz is scheduled to return to court on June 29 for sentencing.    

A number of search parties were dispatched on the weekend of Rodriguez’s disappearance, some of which were attended by Ortiz himself and he was seen talking with a handful of members of the media.    

The parties scoured the surrounding area and Santa Clara riverbed in search of Rodriguez. However, his body was ultimately found a few days later.    

Ortiz was arrested three days later on suspicion of killing Rodriguez. His trial has been a long process, with a number of delays and postponements.   

In October 2018, after Ortiz’s preliminary hearing was postponed four times, a judge ruled that Ortiz should stand trial.    

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