A San Luis Obispo man who allegedly strangled his neighbor over a dispute involving a missing cell phone has pleaded guilty to second degree murder.
Under the terms of his plea, Edmund Nungaray, 60, will be sentenced to a term of 15 years to life in prison. Because its a murder case, he will have to serve a minimum of 15 years before hes eligible for parole.
He is charged with the murder of Dierdre Crowley, whose body was found slumped on a couch in her apartment located across from Nungarays on Sept. 29, 2012. Police had responded to the Bullock Garden Apartments, where the two lived, twice previously that night as Nungaray and Crowley argued about a cell phone. Nungaray told police hed given Crowley, 46, his phone so she could help him change his voice mail, but she hadnt returned it. Crowley said she didnt have the phone and allowed the responding officers to search for it.
After a second visit to the complex, officers with the San Luis Obispo Police Department told the two to stay away from each other. But five hours later, the two bickered again, and Nungaray allegedly choked Crowley to death.
Some time after the murder, Crowleys mother found Nungarays phone inside Crowleys apartment.
Nungarays first-degree murder trial was set to begin July 8, but a deal was reached Thursday afternoon, avoiding a trial.
Crowleys survivors will have a chance to make victim impact statements during Nungarays Aug. 28 Superior Court sentencing.
Nungaray had a history of misdemeanors, including battery and violations of protective orders. A former wife said his demeanor changed drastically after suffering a stroke some years ago. A neighbor said Nungaray and Crowley had fought for months before the murder.