SAN DIEGO : Woman Gets Life in Cliff Death

A Chula Vista woman convicted of first-degree murder for pushing a young woman off a cliff in Big Sur was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Virginia Rearden, 55, was also given a second life sentence for her conviction for conspiring with her late husband, Billie Joe McGinnis, 51, to kill Deana Wild, 20, for life insurance benefits.

Besides the homicide, a San Diego Superior Court jury on March 2 also found Rearden guilty of forgery and preparing a fraudulent insurance claim.

Despite the finding of a special circumstance in the crime, murder for financial gain, Superior Court Judge Bernard Revak had ruled out the death penalty.

The trial was held in San Diego although the killing happened at Big Sur because the conspiracy occurred in San Diego and the life insurance policy was purchased at a Chula Vista office the day before Wild was thrown to her death.

Authorities in Monterey had declined to prosecute, and Wild's death was first believed to be an accident.

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