A former Walmart employee accused of stabbing two people while on duty was found guilty of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, authorities announced Thursday afternoon.
32-year-old Guadalupe Murillo was found guilty by a Curry County jury on two counts of felony Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and one misdemeanor count of Unlawful Possession of a Switchblade, Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler said.
It was on the evening of Aug. 14, 2010, when police said Carlos Lopez and Celestino Owens, both of Clovis, entered Walmart with their families to purchase food for a cookout.
Murillo, who was a Walmart employee, approached Lopez and threatened to fight him, authorities said.
Police said Murillo pulled a switchblade knife out of his pocket, opened the blade and stabbed Lopez several times in the chest.
While attempting to take the knife away from Murillo, Owens was also stabbed, authorities said. He was stabbed just below the chin.
Murillo, according to authorities, returned to the automotive section of the store where he was supposed to be working.
Both of the victims were transported to the hospital. Murillo was located and arrested by Clovis Police in the clothing section of the store.
The jury deliberated for about three hours before returning the guilty verdicts, Chandler said. Murillo's attorney argued that Murillo acted in self defense.
Murillo was taken into immediate custody. A sentencing hearing will be set within the next 90 days, Chandler said. He faces a maximum sentence of eight and a half years.
"The District Attorney's Office is extremely pleased with the guilty verdicts, and we are prepared to seek the maximum sentence allowed by law for
Murillo," Chandler said. "We're glad our victims were able to recover from their injuries, and hope that today's verdict brings them some justice and closure to this heinous act."