• Man found guilty of second-degree murder in Celebration killing


    OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A man who killed another man in the Disney-built town of Celebration has been found guilty of second-degree murder.

    Channel 9 was in the courtroom when David Murillo burst into tears and tried to convince the jury that he was the victim, even though he admitted he used an axe and a shoelace to kill Matteo Giovenditto.

    Murillo is facing 20 years to life in prison. Sentencing has been schedule for Feb. 28.

    Murillo said he was afraid of Giovenditto, saying Giovenditto was trying to take advantage of him sexually.

    "I've never been so angry like that in my life. Something just came up inside me," said Murillo.

    As he tried to explain why he killed the man, Murillo described to the jury how Giovenditto sexually assaulted him.

    "I felt something going up my leg, and I jumped up," said Murillo.

    Moments later, Murillo broke down in court, sobbing.

    Murillo told jurors he believes Giovenditto drugged him as he gave him drinks in his Celebration condominium.

    Murillo, who is homeless, said he went there after he met Giovenditto on the street and was promised money for odd jobs around the house.

    However, Murillo said he woke up to Giovenditto touching him inappropriately, but he admitted that's not the only thing that enraged him.

    "I was angry because he was laughing, thinking it was the funniest thing in the world, going about his business, pouring a glass of water asking if I wanted a drink," said Murillo.

    Murillo testified he hit Giovenditto with an ax at least three times, and then strangled him with a shoelace.

    The state called that premeditated murder, perhaps as revenge for Giovenditto's sexual advances.

    In his closing argument, the prosecutor said Murillo could have just run out of the apartment but he chose murder.

    Michael Nielsen, Murillo's attorney, said he’s relieved his client avoided first-degree murder, although he is not surprised by the verdict.

    "If it had happened and he had just high-tailed it out of there, that might have been different,” said Nielsen. “But the bottom line is the gentleman was still dead in the apartment and somebody was probably going to pay for that.”

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