California man convicted of murdering girlfriend, staging suicide scene

FRESNO, Calif. — A Fresno, California, man was convicted Friday of his girlfriend’s April 2013 murder despite his best efforts to convince authorities that she died by suicide.

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According to The Fresno Bee, police found Miriam Corona dead on the living room sofa of the couple’s East Clinton Avenue home.

Prosecutors argued at trial that Daniel Gomez Cervantes, 53, fatally shot Corona in the back of the head while she slept. They also alleged that it appeared Corona was packed and ready to leave Cervantes at the time of the shooting, KFSN-TV reported.

According to the TV station, Cervantes claimed that he was hugging Corona on the couch as she pulled the trigger, but prosecutors argued that the gunshot residue found on him indicated he played a more active role in her death.

Meanwhile, police found Corona with the gun in her hand under the side of her head, which prosecutors argued was awkward and inconsistent with her manner of death. Police also believed that Cervantes cleaned the scene before calling for help because they did not find any blood on him, which appeared improbable if he had been embracing her at the time of her death, KFSN reported.

Cervantes, who is facing 50 years to life in prison, will be sentenced Aug. 22 for the first-degree murder conviction, the Bee reported.