SALINAS — After a two-week trial, 24-year-old Byron Sumagang has been found guilty of premeditated murder of his then-24-year-old girlfriend. He faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
At around 12 PM on November 30th of last year, a Monterey County Deputy came upon the defendant’s vehicle near the edge of Old Stage Road just south of Salinas. The defendant was found sitting in the back seat with the deceased victim lying in his lap.
Sumagang claimed they’d agreed to suicide pact that had gone awry. Both the victim and defendant were transported to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital where the victim was pronounced dead. Sumagang was discharged with only superficial scratches to his wrist.
Forensic Pathologist Dr. Venus Azar testified at the trial that the victim had died of asphyxia as a result of strangulation and smothering. Sumagang is due for sentencing at the end of this month by Honorable Judge Carrie Panetta.