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Man convicted of using Facebook to lure and murder victim

February 20, 2013 |  8:20 pm

Manuel Guzman was convicted in Facebook murder case.A Riverside County man was convicted Wednesday of using a phony Facebook profile of a woman to lure a man that he shot to death.

Manuel Guzman, who was 17 at the time of 2011 murder, was charged with creating the fake profile under the name Rebecca Santhiago. He used photos in the profile that were in reality an East Coast model, according to the Riverside County district attorney's office.

He used the profile to lure young men, successfully tricking 23-year-old Eddie Leal to meet at a park in San Jacinto, according to prosecutors. Leal, who lived in San Jacinto, was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the driver's seat of a Toyota Corolla.

The jury deliberated for less than a day before finding Guzman guilty of one count of murder with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait and using a firearm.

Guzman, because he was a minor when he committed the murder, faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or 50 years to life, the district attorney's office said. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 26 at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.

[For the record, 5:14 p.m. Oct. 17: An earlier version of this post incorrectly spelled Manuel Guzman's first name as Manual.]

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— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Manuel Guzman. Credit: Riverside County Sheriff's Department
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