By Dave Andrusko
On the fourth day of deliberations, a Rensselaer County Court jury today convicted Gabriel Vega of first-degree manslaughter and manslaughter in the April 2014 strangulation death of Vanessa Milligan, his ex-girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child, Alina.
Prosecutors say Vega strangled the 19-year-old Milligan and then doused her apartment with gasoline before setting the fire.
“The jury of six women and six men also convicted Vega of second-degree arson, third-degree arson and first-degree abortion,” according to reporter Kenneth C. Crowe II.
“Vega had been charged with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life but after days of deliberations the jury opted to convict him of the lesser charge,” Crowe added. However Vega still faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Rensselaer County Judge Andrew Ceresia scheduled the 20-year-old Verga to be sentenced on July 14.
On Monday the jury asked that the testimony of Ginelly Santana, Milligan’s best friend, be re-read, and for legal definitions of the various charges Vega faced.
“Santana testified she spent more than an hour with Milligan the night she was killed,” reported Kimberly Howard of CBS 6.
“The two were comparing pregnancies because Santana was seven months pregnant at the time and Milligan was due in just a few days,” according to Howard. “Santana also testified that she knew Vega since they were kids and that he was important to Milligan. She told the jury Milligan loved him.”
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