A Ventura County jury has convicted a Simi Valley man of murder, but they were unable to reach a verdict on whether that killing took place during a residential burglary.
48-year-old Glenn Sires was accused of taking part in the murder of 52-year-old Janice Richardson in her Simi Valley home in January of 2009.
Prosecutors say that initially the authorities believed that Richardson died from a drug overdose but Simi police conducted a cold case investigation into her death in 2016 and determined that Richardson had been smothered to death and the scene was staged by her killers to make it look like she died from a drug overdose.
Three people were then arrested in connection with the killing, including Sires, and he went on trial last month.
He testified in his own defense.
The jury deliberated for about two days before returning with a guilty verdict on the murder charged, but they told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked 11-1 on the burglary charge and the judge declared a mistrial on the burglary count.
That was crucial since Sires was facing a special circumstance allegation of murder during a burglary which would have meant life in prison without a chance of parole.
Being convicted on just the murder charge means he is facing life with a chance of parole.
The DA's office will return to court next week to say whether they plan to retry Sires on the burglary charge.
Meanwhile, one of Sires co-defendants has already pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and the other co-defendant is awaiting a separate trial.