Whittier Man Convicted of Killing Live-In Girlfriend

NORWALK (CNS) - A Whittier man was convicted today of killing his longtime girlfriend inside the apartment they had shared. Jurors found Rafael Ayala Castillo, 57, guilty of first-degree murder for the Sept. 12, 2017, shooting death of Sandra Rodriguez Polanco, according to Deputy District Attorney Mariela Torres. 

The panel also found true an allegation that Castillo personally and intentionally discharged a firearm which caused great bodily injury and death to the victim. Castillo and Polanco had been in a relationship for nearly a decade and shared the apartment in the 11700 block of Floral Drive, according to the District Attorney's Office. 

The couple had been having relationship problems, and one of Polanco's family members went to the couple's apartment that day and discovered the 54-year-old woman dead of a gunshot wound to the head. 

Castillo was found that afternoon in Reseda and taken into custody. He is facing 50 years to life in state prison, with sentencing set Jan. 15 in a Norwalk courtroom, according to the District Attorney's Office.

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