SACRAMENTO, CA - A man who chased down and bludgeoned a 20-year-old Elverta man he mistakenly believed was a burglar was convicted of second-degree murder in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday.
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Jurors did not find Steven Zinda guilty of first-degree murder but did find true an allegation of personal use of a weapon in the March 20, 2011, ax-killing of David Valdez.
Valdez's SUV had become stuck in a ditch across from Zinda's Rio Linda home. When Zinda arrived home early that Sunday morning, he found a burglar had struck and he assumed the burglar was Valdez, according to investigators.
Zinda will be sentenced Jan. 11.