Man sentenced in boyfriend's choking death after body found in closet

SCV Sheriff's Department missing flier
Photo credit SCV Sheriff's Department

SAN FERNANDO, Calif. (CNS) — A Santa Clarita man convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the death of his boyfriend — a U.C. San Diego student — was sentenced today to three years he had already served behind bars.

Photo credit @KNXNews

Jurors acquitted Christian Alexander Ortiz, now 26, of murder and found him guilty of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter involving the September 2018 death of 20-year-old Brayan Rodriguez, according to Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer.

Ortiz testified in his defense and contended that Rodriguez had died accidentally during "erotic asphyxiation," according to the prosecutor, who countered that the act was intentional and that the defendant knew the conduct was dangerous to human life.

Friends and relatives had spent much of the weekend searching for Rodriguez, passing out flyers with his photo. Rodriguez's body was found two days later in Ortiz's closet on Sept. 24, 2018, at a home in the 23600 block of Via Valer.

Ortiz was arrested the next day by Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide investigators and was released from jail after the jury returned its verdict on May 18, according to jail records.

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