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Man guilty in attack on local homeowner

Citizen Staff Writer

A 20-year-old Tucson man was convicted of felony first-degree murder Tuesday in the shooting death of a homeowner slain on his 34th birthday.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Hantman will choose between life in prison with parole possible after 25 years or life with no parole when he sentences Julian Adrian Wyatt on June 9.

A jury convicted Wyatt Tuesday in the death of Rafael Cuen-Molina.

Sheriff’s deputies said Cuen-Molina heard a noise outside his Southwest Side home about 2:30 a.m. Jan. 3, 2006, and went outside to investigate.

The father of three ran back inside, yelling to his wife, “We’re being robbed!” and returned to his home’s front door, deputies said.

His wife heard a shot, followed by a thump and about 15 more shots, deputies said.

Co-defendant Jacob Valenzuela, 20, also was charged with first-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter and testified against Wyatt.

In returning its verdict, jurors unanimously said Wyatt was guilty of felony murder, meaning he didn’t kill with premeditation.



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