Victor Guzman will face a potential death sentence after Miami-Dade Circuit Court jurors on Monday convicted him of the brutal murder of an elderly Little Havana woman in December 2000.
Using a DNA match, police linked Guzman, 39, to the slaying of 80-year-old Severina Dolores Fernandez, who was found naked and stabbed 58 times in her Little Havana apartment.
Miami-Dade prosecutors believed Guzman knocked on her door after seeing Fernandez fetch a newspaper outside of her home. Guzman, prosecutors said, cut himself on the slippery, blood-soaked knife as he attacked leaving crucial DNA evidence at the scene.
Some two years later, the same DNA turned up in the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl in Miami Beach. But the identity of the attacker was not known until 2004, when Guzmans DNA was entered into a state database after he violated probation in a case of lewd conduct involving a minor.
His attorney, Charles White, told jurors to keep an open mind, stressing that no eye witnesses could place Guzman at the womans apartment. Jurors deliberated just over two hours. The same jury will later consider whether to recommend a death sentence or impose a term of life in prison. The case is before Judge Dennis Murphy.