A 30-year-old man is guilty of second-degree murder in the 1986 shooting of a man whose body was found near Simi Valley, a Ventura County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.
The attorney for Alan Abraham of Oceanside did not dispute that his client was involved in the slaying of Christopher Landry, 21, of Woodland Hills, but Deputy Public Defender Brian Boles argued during the non-jury trial that Abraham was guilty only of voluntary manslaughter because the slaying occurred in the heat of passion.
Abraham's accomplice, Anthony Adams, 28, of Littlerock was convicted in March of second-degree murder after a jury rejected that same argument.
"I'm glad the defendant was convicted of murder as he deserved to be," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Peter D. Kossoris, who prosecuted both cases. "I think justice was served."
Both attorneys agreed to a court trial, meaning that Judge Lawrence Storch would decide between manslaughter and murder without the benefit of a jury.
Storch rendered his decision without much comment moments after the attorneys completed their closing statements Thursday.
Landry was reported missing nearly seven years ago, and hikers found his skull off Black Canyon Road outside Simi Valley last fall.
Investigators arrested Abraham and Adams two months later after evidence indicated that the three had gone to the canyon together to discuss a drug deal.
Abraham and Adams "wanted to get some coke, but they didn't have the money," Kossoris told Storch in his closing statement Thursday. "They didn't want to pay for it."
Kossoris said the two went to the canyon with Landry "prepared to kill . . . they were in a killing mood."
Boles was not available for comment after the ruling.
Abraham could receive 17 years to life in prison when he is sentenced June 28.