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Woman convicted in fatal beating of man at Metro Blue Line station

A woman was convicted Tuesday in the fatal beating of a 65-year-old artist at a crowded Metro Blue Line platform.

Jurors found Tracy Joy Gomez, 25, guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the June 13, 2014, death of John Whitmore, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Gomez had been charged with murder, but jurors opted to convict her of the lesser charge of manslaughter after three days of deliberations.

Whitmore was standing on the platform in the 1000 block of Willowbrook Avenue about 1 p.m. when a dispute erupted between him and Gomez, prosecutors said. Gomez beat Whitmore and fled the scene, prosecutors said.

Whitmore was taken to a hospital and died about a week after the beating.

A second woman, Virginia Butler, was also arrested and charged with murder in connection with Whitmore’s death, but jurors acquitted her, according to a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. Both women were arrested after investigators released surveillance footage of the deadly beating.

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A painter and sculptor, Whitmore was known for offering financial support to arts students, his brother-in-law Corey Aldridge told The Times shortly after his death.

Aldridge, who lived next door to Whitmore, said they would drink coffee together each morning, discussing politics and gardening.

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“He had no enemies,” Aldridge said.

Gomez is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 6 before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John T. Doyle. She faces up to 22 years in state prison.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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