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Former L.A. fire captain found guilty of second-degree murder

March 17, 2011 | 10:17 am

A former Los Angeles fire captain was found guilty Thursday of second-degree murder in the killing of a woman at his Eagle Rock home.

David Del Toro, 54, told jurors last month that he allowed Jennifer Flores, 42, whom he met years earlier when she dated his former roommate, to use his home to wash clothes and stay overnight after learning she was homeless.

He told them he did not kill the victim but conceded he could not recall large portions of the night of the slaying because he had been drinking.

“He’s not going to suffer as much as he made my sister suffer,” Richard Flores, the victim’s brother, said after the verdict was read. “He’s shown no remorse for his actions. That was evidenced during trial."

Defense attorneys say they may make a motion for a new trial after two jurors were removed from the panel after 12 days into deliberations for possible juror misconduct.

One juror refused to vote for manslaughter, saying it was too little time in jail. A second juror, when questioned by the judge, said she could not be fair after hearing that statement.

The 23-year Fire Department veteran acknowledged during trial that he exchanged sharp words with Flores when he refused to let her borrow his pickup truck. He said he grabbed her when she became belligerent, but he denied injuring her.

"I went to grab her, not to hurt her but to talk to her," he testified. After drinking heavily on Aug. 15, 2006, Del Toro said, he went to bed drunk and exhausted, leaving Flores watching television on the living room couch.

He said he woke during the night and cleaned a mess that he could not explain before returning to bed. That mess included a large pool of blood that police found the next morning in his living room.

"It was just [a] fog," he testified. "I was confused, disoriented."

Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace questioned how Del Toro was unable to recall large portions of the night yet remain adamant that he did not kill Flores.


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-- Victoria Kim at L.A. County Superior Court