Ex-Convict Convicted of 1st-Degree Murder

A 27-year-old ex-convict from Ventura has been convicted of first-degree murder in the Dec. 9 stabbing death of Ventura resident Kenneth Wayne Beardsley.

A Ventura County Superior Court jury deliberated for more than a day before finding John Robert Delatorre Jr. guilty on Wednesday of one count of first-degree murder and a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon.

Police found Beardsley lying on the living room floor of his Ventura Avenue area home. He was bleeding from a knife wound to the chest and died a short time later at Ventura County Medical Center.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Ron Bamieh said jurors heard evidence that Delatorre was a drug dealer in his apartment complex on Sheridan Way. When Beardsley--one of his customers--failed to pay back money that he owed, Delatorre killed him in front of two witnesses to teach him a lesson, Bamieh said.


“He was of the belief that nobody would ever care about the people in that complex,” Bamieh said Thursday. “He was mistaken, because the police did, and our office did, and we spent a lot of time making sure the jury knew what happened.”

Delatorre’s attorneys, Charles Cassy and Joel Steinfeld, could not be reached for comment.

Delatorre faces a mandatory sentence of 26 or 27 years to life, Bamieh said. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 15.