Arizona Daily Star
A Tucson man accused of beating his girlfriend to death with a crowbar was convicted of second-degree murder in Pima County Superior Court on Friday.
Arnold Mills Granillo bludgeoned Kimberly Tsonetokoy, the woman he lived with more than a decade, over the head, face and body in October 2012 after learning of her plans to leave him.
Noting the defendant’s lack of a criminal past and reputation as a nice person, Deputy Pima County Attorney Lewis Brandes told jurors in his closing statements that Granillo’s character was not on trial.
“There’s no argument that he’s a nice man, a family man, a hard worker,” Brandes said. “Even the best saintly person is capable of doing terrible things.”
During the trial, character witnesses testified that Granillo, a former Sun Tran bus driver, was honest and had no history of violence.
Brandes said that Granillos’ argument that he snapped and lost control because of the shock and grief he felt at the demise of his relationship didn’t excuse his actions.
“You can’t kill someone because you’re enraged,” he said.
Defense attorney Joel Feinman said the jury was not only tasked with deciding whether Granillo, 50, killed Tsonetokoy, 45, but also had to determine his state of mind at the time.
In an effort to convince the jury Granillo did not intend to kill his girlfriend, Feinman played a video of the police interrogation the night Tsonetokoy died.
Once police informed him of Tsonetokoy’s death, Granillo began to weep and wail.
“That reaction, ladies and gentlemen, was an honest reaction,” Feinman said. “And if it was faked he should be awarded an Academy Award.”
This was the second time Granillo faced trial for the killing. A trial in December ended with a hung jury.
Granillo is scheduled for sentencing before Pima County Superior Court Judge Javier Chon-Lopez on Oct. 10.