Jury decides Tulare man did kill and rob his neighbor

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Tulare man is now a convicted killer after a verdict was reached in a trial that's been playing out for more than a week.

Brandon McDuffie appeared in court for the last day of his trial. A jury deciding he did kill and rob his neighbor back in 2013. A jury of nine women and three men took only 42 minutes to make that decision.

Dan Underwood with the Tulare County District Attorney's Office said, "We think the verdict was a just one we think the evidence in this case was fairly strong."

The evidence tells the story of a brutal crime. Manuel Alves was found murdered in his home by his son who testified during the trial. Underwood says a guilty verdict is what the family wanted.

Underwood added, "A little relief and an opportunity to start moving forward and try and put this grief behind them as best they can it's unimaginable what they have to go through."

Manuel was killed in July 2013. Items stolen from his home found the next day in McDuffie's bedroom. McDuffie's murder charge included special circumstances that made him eligible for the death penalty. But the district attorney's office did not pursue this as a capital case. Instead, he's facing life in prison without parole.

The district attorney's office is now working with the family to write victim impact statements. Those will be shared at McDuffie's sentencing in November.

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