Factory worker convicted of California slaying

Friday, April 29, 2005

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A jury convicted a factory worker Thursday of kidnapping and killing 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, an Orange County girl whose 2002 death prompted a massive public outcry.

After deliberating for less than nine hours over two days, jurors convicted Alejandro Avila, 30, of kidnapping, murder and sexual assault. In the upcoming penalty phase, the jury will decide whether to recommend a death sentence or life in prison without parole.

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