Courtney Rice Murder Case Verdicts

December 22, 2008 2:14:33 PM PST
A jury returned a partial verdict in the case of three men and one woman accused of killing a teenage girl in Fresno.In the summer of 2006 Investigators found Courtney Rice's body in the back of a truck.

She was handcuffed beaten and strangled.

This is a disappointment for the prosecutor.

He hoped the jury would find all four defendants guilty of first degree murder and raping Courtney Rice.

Jurors didn't do that and a mistrial was declared for some of those on trial.

Joseph Lopez is the only one who was found guilty of the gravest offense.

He is guilty of first degree murder.

Jurors also found the special circumstance true a crime committed for a gang's benefit.

They decided Lopez was innocent of rape.

Lopez's attorney expressed disappointment.

Phillip Cherney, Defense Attorney: "He was if anything responsible for an involuntary manslaughter."

Michelle Molina wiped away tears as she learned her fate.

She was found not guilty of first degree murder.

Instead jurors found her guilty of the lesser charge, involuntary manslaughter, and not guilty of rape.

Roger Alley will most likely face another trial.

Jurors couldn't come to a unanimous decision on the murder charge.

A judge declared a mistrial for Alley, but jurors found him not guilty of rape.

Clerk: "We the jury in the above entitled action."

Albert Vargas cried when he learned he wasn't cleared of the crime.

He was found not guilty of first degree murder.

Jurors couldn't decide on the lesser murder charges.

A mistrial was declared.

The jury cleared him of raping Courtney Rice.

The girl's family left the court room today without making a statement.

Lopez who was found guilty of first degree murder returns to court in late March to be sentenced.

He is facing life in prison the district attorney's office has not said what they plan to do with the other defendants retry them or drop the case.


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