OGDEN -- A 2nd District Court jury moved fairly quickly Friday morning to find Robert McCullar guilty in a 2009 slashing death after a prosecution longer than most.
The trial was almost 18 months in the making, with seven days of testimony and arguments, but the jury needed barely six hours to deliberate.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 7, when McCullar could land a life prison term.
McCullar, 50, was charged in the Dec. 22, 2009, stabbing death of Filiberto Robles Bedolla, 49, in his tiny apartment at 2560 Adams Ave.
The confrontation began when Bedolla appropriated McCullar's cigarette after McCullar left it burning on a newspaper rack at a convenience store. He had planned a quick stop in the store, then expected to resume smoking the cigarette, a common practice in the area, according to testimony.
But Bedolla got it first and a brief argument ensued, with Bedolla using a racial slur and spitting on McCullar.
McCullar than followed Bedolla stealthily for an hour or more, jumping him as he went inside his nearby apartment after catching the door before it closed.
"You know how my temper is," McCullar was heard to say on video that police secretly taped of him confessing to his girlfriend, who had turned informant.
Bedolla was stabbed 14 times, the worst slash opening his throat. McCullar then manipulated the crime scene, according to testimony, leaving a pornographic video playing in the DVD-TV combo at the foot of Bedolla's bed. The attempt was meant to make it appear an acquaintance committed the crime, as a girlfriend's picture was removed from the headboard.
McCullar slipped up in talking to police when first contacted. He caught their attention in telling detectives there was no forced entry at the murder scene, which was not yet common knowledge.
The trial afforded a glimpse of Ogden's inner city, the older part of town with a concentration of residents on probation and parole in the area roughly defined by Adams Avenue and Monroe Boulevard and 20th and 30th streets.
McCullar was something of a homeless pimp at the time of the slaying, betrayed to police by his 47-year-old heroin-addicted prostitute girlfriend for whom he helped find tricks, drugs and hotel rooms.
The first homicide of 2011 occurred just three blocks from Bedolla's residence, the fatal shooting of a 42-year-old transient July 13 at 524 29th St., near the Adams Avenue intersection with 29th Street.
In July 2008, two street-walkers were shot and killed by Jacob Ethridge, now in prison serving life without parole, in the area of Adams and 24th and 26th streets.