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    Jury deadlocks in Daly City murder trial

    By Amy Larson,

    22 days ago

    (KRON) — A San Mateo County jury deadlocked for the murder trial of Eriberto Beltran Arenas, the man accused of killing a young mother of three while her 4-year-old child was crying in their apartment.

    Prosecutors say Lilliam Orozco Zelaya, 26, was shot to death by her estranged husband on November 6, 2021 while he was enraged that she was “cheating.” Beltran Arenas allegedly confronted Zelaya inside of her apartment on Bel Mar Avenue in Daly City.

    A roommate protected one of Zelaya’s children by taking the terrified 4-year-old into another room and locking the door, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The child was crying when the roommate heard gunshots ring out. The victim was shot twice in the head and once in the leg.

    Immediately after the killing, the roommate said Beltran Arenas yelled, “I killed her because she was slut, learn how sluts die,” prosecutors wrote.

    Beltran Arenas then broke down a door and pointed his gun at the roommate, as well as the crying 4-year-old child, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

    After Beltran Arenas left, he called his estranged wife’s mother and said he “killed the b**ch,” according to prosecutors. He was nabbed shortly after by San Francisco Police Department officers. He had 18 firearms registered in his name.

    A month-long jury trial was held this May with Judge Jonathan Karesh presiding. Jurors told the judge that their deliberations stalled over questions about if the crime was committed in the heat of passion, or if it was planned with premeditation, the District Attorney’s Office said.

    5 deaths, few answers: Domestic violence task force formed in San Mateo County

    Judge Karesh allowed the defense attorney and prosecutor to deliver a second closing argument. “After arguments, jury sent out a note indicating deadlocked,” the District Attorney’s Office wrote. Five of the jurors said the estranged husband was guilty of first-degree murder, four jurors said second-degree murder, and three jurors said voluntary manslaughter.

    The judge responded by declaring a mistrial on Tuesday, dismissed the deadlocked jury, and sent jurors home.

    Beltran Arenas, 38, was ordered to return to jail where he is being held in lieu of $11 million. Prosecutors could put him on trial again with a new jury at a later date. The district attorney’s retrial decision will be revealed when the accused killer returns to court on June 10.

    In the wake of Zelaya’s violent death, her grieving family wrote on a GoFundMe page , “Lilliam Orozco Zelaya was killed by her husband from domestic violence.” All three of her children are younger than 10 years old, the page states.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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