The final chapter of a criminal trial played out in a courtroom Wednesday as the family of a Burbank man who was found dead six years ago with 32 stab wounds heardthe man convicted in the murder being sentenced to 26 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Jorge Villalobos, 47, of San Gabriel, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Glen Giles, who was found dead on his neighbors porch on Feb. 26, 2008. Giles left a trail of blood from his bedroom, across the street, up his neighbor's driveway and on the doorbell.
Through tears, relatives on Wednesday remembered Giles as a gentle giant with an infectious laugh who loved basketball.
“Our hearts are still broken,” said his niece Alisa Osterman, who called Giles her role model and confidant.
Giles’ family was close-knit and held gatherings on birthdays, holidays, and “for no reason at all,” Osterman said. “Our get-togethers will never be the same.”
Family members also shared the horror they felt when they found out the news Giles’ death.
“It is a nightmare for all of us, but Glen actually lived it,” said Giles’ sister Christine Zook.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Villalobos was driven by bitterness over a love triangle that included a woman named Christina Ingram, who testified during the trial.
Villalobos had dated Ingram for two years before she began dating Giles, prosecutor Stephanie Mire said during the trial. Ingram had attempted to break off the relationship with Villalobos, but “the defendant's ego did not like that rejection,” she said.
Villalobos’ attorney James Blatt said the case did not involve a jealous love triangle, as both Villalobos and Ingram were seeing other people. He also pointed out that no murder weapon was ever recovered.
But prosecutors presented evidence that Villalobos had been “tracking” Giles during the weeks before his death, having called him 18 times in February from a blocked number. The last phone call from Villalobos to Giles was placed at 10:34 p.m. the night before he was found dead. Investigators also reportedly found Giles' blood inside Villalobos' car.
The jury reached its verdict in December after a four-week trial and three days of deliberations.
In a motion for a new trial, Blatt argued there was insufficient evidence and a “lack of chain of custody in reference to the blood.”
Superior Court Judge Suzette Clover on Wednesday denied the motion for a new trial, which Blatt said later was not surprising.
Villalobos has 60 days to appeal his sentencing.
This story was updated at 6 p.m.