A Hollywood DJ accused of killing his ex-girlfriend was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday after a jury convicted him on second-degree murder charges.
It took jurors just four hours to convict 33-year-old Juan Carlos Portieles in the Oct. 11, 2009 death of 18-year-old Jaclyn Torrealba, according to The Miami Herald.
Her mother said she thinks the jury made the right decision.
"I sat through the court. I never left, I heard all the evidence, and she suffered enormously," Vilma Castro said.
According to a police report, Portieles, who went by the name DJ Seasunz, was arrested after he walked into the Miami-Dade Police station at 9105 Northwest 25th Street and told officers Torrealba's body was in the back of his Toyota Camry in the parking lot.
Portieles and Torrealba, who had been dating since she was 16 years old, had gotten into an argument that quickly turned physical, the report said.
He beat Torrealba before choking her until she passed out, the report said. By the time he got to the police station, she was dead.
The trial lasted a week, with Portieles' attorney arguing that the killing was not premeditated.
The trial forced Castro and her husband, Pablo Torrealba, to relive the tragic and violent death of their only child, who they said was a great student and a great daughter.
Club Space was the venue where the couple met and the last place Jackie Torrealba was seen alive. She was 16 when she started dating Portieles, who was 28.
“When you have a young girl, impressionable, wanting to shine and wanting to take her place in the world, then she looks up to this DJ figure, an older man," Pablo Torrealba said.
He and his wife had begged their teenage daughter to stop seeing him, and an attorney even sent Portieles a letter to cease and desist their relationship.
“Sometimes I feel like I should have gone to his door, bang on that door, see him face to face, and yell at him and tell him ‘Stay the hell away from my daughter,'" Pablo Torrealba said.