Valera killed Gomez, a popular Parlier coach, four years ago. He shot Gomez as his teenage sons and nephews prepared for a camping trip.
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Valera was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read. The judge ordered him ejected earlier in the day because of his disruptive outbursts.
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Gomez's family cheered and then sobbed after the verdict was delivered, and at least one juror wiped away tears.
This story will be updated.
BREAKING: Joel Valera found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his neighbor Artie Gomez. He killed Gomez in a dispute over trash.— Sontaya Rose (@SontayaRose) August 30, 2018
Valera would not agree to remain quiet- so he is not present for the verdict. The victim’s family cheered and then sobbed. At least one juror is wiping away tears.— Sontaya Rose (@SontayaRose) August 30, 2018
The jury deliberated for close to an hour before reaching their unanimous decision. pic.twitter.com/iJkbzvlTmf— Sontaya Rose (@SontayaRose) August 30, 2018
NOW: Well- his court appearance didn’t last long. At this point-Joel Valera will not be hearing closing arguments in his case. He’s left the courtroom for constant outbursts and failure to be respectful. pic.twitter.com/kfxcvjfDCG— Sontaya Rose (@SontayaRose) August 30, 2018