PALMDALE : 2 Men Found Guilty in Beating Death

Two Palmdale men were found guilty Tuesday of beating to death a man and then using his automatic teller machine card to withdraw money.

A San Fernando Superior Court jury took less than a day to convict Paul Nicholson, 27, and Michael Goldsberry, 22, in the slaying of Valentin S. Montesdeoca, 43, whose body was found Sept. 8, 1991, in a drainage ditch in Palmdale.

The two men face life in prison without the possibility of parole when they are sentenced Jan. 12.

Nicholson and Goldsberry were arrested at a Palmdale motel a day after Montesdeoca's body was found after a friend of the two men told Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies that the pair had told her that they had robbed a "Mexican" and "beat him around."

The friend testified during the trial that Nicholson told her that he beat Montesdeoca until he gave up his ATM card and number to access the account.

The coroner listed Montesdeoca's cause of death as asphyxia and a severe blow to the head. A key to the men's motel room was found embedded in Montesdeoca's back.

The trial was moved to San Fernando from Lancaster at the request of defense attorneys, who said pretrial publicity made it difficult to find an unbiased jury in the Antelope Valley.

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