A California transient turned survivalist, who was dubbed the “Malibu Sniper” for a series of shootings at a Los Angeles area park, was convicted of second-degree murder Friday.
Anthony Rauda, 46, was found guilty of killing Tristan Beaudette, a father who was camping out with his two young daughters.
Rauda was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder and five counts of second-degree commercial burglary.
The jury acquitted him of seven other attempted murder charges.
Rauda went on a shooting spree, targeting sleeping campers, in Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica hills beginning in November 2016.
He also shot at passing motorists near the state park, authorities said.
Prosecutors had been seeking a first-degree murder charge in the death of Beaudette, who was shot early on the morning of June 22, 2018, while sharing a tent with his daughters, aged 2 and 4.
Jurors instead convicted Rauda on the lesser charge of second-degree murder in Beaudette’s death.
Beaudette, a pharmaceutical researcher, had taken the girls on what was supposed to be a final camping trip in Los Angeles before his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, according to reports.
Beaudette’s wife skipped the trip because she was preparing to take an exam. The girls were not injured but were considered victims of attempted murder.
The jury convicted Rauda on the counts related to the girls but ruled that Rauda had not acted willfully to kill them or with premeditation.
A prosecutor told jurors this week that Rauda had a “pattern of stalking and preying on campers” in the state park that began with a man being shot while sleeping in a hammock in November 2016.
The victims were shot between 3 and 5 a.m. — a time when the prosecutor said people are usually in their deepest sleep.
Rauda waived his right to appear in court and was not present for the verdict Friday.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the outcome.
“I appreciate how careful the jury appears to have been,” Rauda’s attorney, Nicholas C. Okorocha, said after the verdict. “The jury did a good job being careful and detail-oriented.”
Rauda’s sentencing is scheduled for June 7.
He faces 40 years to life in prison.
With Post Wires