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Guilty Verdict Reached in Vargas Murder Trial

Benjamin Vargas faces up to 11 years in prison after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter in May 2011 stabbing of Vincent Velasquez

Benjamin Vargas
Benjamin Vargas

A 20-year-old Santa Barbara man faces up to 11 years in prison after being found guilty Tuesday of voluntary manslaughter in connecting with a fatal stabbing that occurred a year ago in Isla Vista.

Benjamin Vargas was convicted by a jury in Santa Barbara County Superior Court that began deliberations Friday.

He will return to court June 18 for sentencing by Judge George Eskin, and could receive a term of up to 11 years in state prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Hans Almgren.

In convicting Vargas, the jury had the choice between second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, Almgren said, and chose the lesser charge.

Vargas was accused of slaying Vincent Velasquez in the early morning hours of May 15, 2011, during a fight on Abrego Road. The victim succumbed to multiple stab wounds, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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