Former Mo. cop guilty of killing college student

Saturday, December 6, 2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A former Columbia police officer has been convicted of second-degree murder for killing a college student with whom he had an affair.

Clay County jurors deliberated about six hours Friday before returning the guilty verdict in the retrial of 31-year-old Steven Rios.

A previous conviction was overturned in April 2007 because of problems with two hearsay statements.

During the latest trial, prosecutors portrayed the married officer as a compulsive liar. They said he slit the throat of 23-year-old Jesse Valencia in June 2004 because Valencia threatened to reveal an affair between the two.

Jurors were taking a break Friday before returning to deliberate his sentence. He could face up to life in prison for the murder conviction and up to 30 years for the armed criminal action charge.

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