RICHMOND -- A 54-year-old Brentwood handyman was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years to life in prison for striking a female acquaintance with his pickup and dragging her 60 feet to her death in Antioch.
A Contra Costa County jury in May convicted Lucio Rivera-Avila of second-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon for killing 47-year-old Antioch resident Shelly Baker on Dec. 6, 2010.
The defendant's attorney had argued at trial that Rivera-Avila was unaware that he had hit and dragged Baker with his vehicle after dropping her off on Cavallo Road, and thought that he had run over a bag of Baker's laundry.
But the jury sided with the prosecution, which argued that Rivera-Avila had intentionally struck Baker after an argument because he considered her "damaged goods." Among the prosecution's witnesses was a woman who testified that Rivera-Avila deliberately ran her over in Bay Point in 2008 because she had robbed him of money he used to solicit her for prostitution.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.