PERRIS — Seventeen-year-old Aaron Morhy’s murder conviction Tuesday concluded the trials of three people, including another teenager involved in a 2009 killing.
Morhy, who was 15 at the time, Jesus Rafael Veliz Jr., who was 14, and 33-year-old Jesus Rafael Veliz Sr. were tried as adults in the killing of Charles W. Sparks. Trial records showed they killed Sparks, 45, with kitchen knives in his home on March 17, 2009.
On Monday, both the Velizes were found guilty; a day later, Morhy’s jury found him guilty. All three had pleaded not guilty in killing a man that had tried to protect Veliz Jr. and Morhy from a fight earlier in the day.
Sparks, who was found on the ground near his Bond Street home with 26 stab wounds, was wearing only boxer shorts. Morhy, who said they unscrewed the light bulb on Sparks’ porch, testified that he did not stab Sparks, but admitted using a rock that hit Sparks. Sparks died at a nearby hospital.
During his testimony, Morhy claimed Veliz and his son repeatedly stabbed Sparks.
Prosecutors said Veliz Sr. was acting in revenge because Sparks had reportedly beaten up his son and Morhy earlier that day.
Testimony, however, revealed that Sparks did not beat up either teenager. In 2000, Veliz Sr. reportedly served time in prison on a carjacking charge, according to prosecutors.
Earlier that day, Sparks had been trying to sell puppies in the neighborhood. Veliz Jr. and Morhy were in the area and got into a fight with another teenager, prosecutors said. A surveillance video at a neighborhood market showed that both Veliz Jr. and Morhy were getting beaten up until Sparks broke up the fight.
Veliz Sr. demanded Sparks tell him the name of the other man, prosecutors said, but he refused. Later, according to Morhy’s testimony, they sneaked into Sparks’ home where found him lying on the couch.