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Man kills homeless person because he wanted to kick his dog

By Mason White 2:02 PM January 16, 2015
Homeless man illustration 

By: Tanya Malhotra
A homeless person was murdered after a man became angry because the victim wanted to kick his dog, prosecutors in California said.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that 33-year-old Billy Morales, was found guilty of killing 55-year-old Rodney Craig, a former professional baseball player.

Jurors deliberated for less than three hours before finding him guilty of second-degree murder.

Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Mac said that Craig, who was living on the streets, tried to stay at a homeless encampment when other transients did not let him stay there and kicked him out.

As he left the encampment, he wanted to kick a dog, the prosecutor said. Morales and Anthony Johnson chased after Craig, caught him, and began kicking and punching him.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Morales fatally stabbed Craig once in the chest.

Johnson, 24, pleaded no contest to one count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and was sentenced to six years in state prison.

Morales faces a possible sentence of at least 16 years to life in state prison.