A man has been convicted in the fatal beating and stabbing of a Tucson man in 2012, court documents show.
On Friday, a jury found Jose Javier Aleman-Rodriguez, 37, guilty of first-degree murder, nearly seven years after Roberto Castro-Coronado was killed in his home on the city's south side.
In November 2012, police found Castro-Coronado's body in his living room.
In December 2013, detectives interviewed Aleman-Rodriguez at a federal detention center in Nevada after it was determined his DNA was on a bleach bottle at the crime scene. Further lab results in 2017 showed Aleman-Rodriguez’s DNA was also on a knife handle and matched samples of blood evidence at the scene, according to police reports.
In December 2018 Aleman-Rodriguez was arrested for an outstanding warrant in connection with Castro-Coronado’s death and was booked into the Pinal County jail. Detectives interviewed Aleman-Rodriguez again, telling him his DNA had been found on several items at the crime scene, and asked for his side of the story.
Aleman-Rodriguez told detectives he was a backpacker who walked through the desert from Mexico to southern Arizona to deliver marijuana. He said he had delivered marijuana to Castro-Coronado.
After one delivery Castro-Coronado allowed Aleman-Rodriguez and other backpackers to rest at the house, court documents say. He told detectives he never hurt Castro-Coronado and that he and the group of backpackers ran after being attacked by a group of men he called “bajadores,” or a drug rip-off crew.
When a detective told him they found his DNA on blood samples at the murder scene, Aleman-Rodriguez said he had a cut on his wrist.
Aleman-Rodriguez is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 3.
Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @CasanovaReports