Jurors find man eligible for death penalty in rape, murder of 7- - Tucson News Now

Jurors find man eligible for death penalty in rape, murder of 7-year-old

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Jurors decided Thursday a Pima County man is eligible for the death penalty in the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl in Ajo.

Late Thursday morning, a jury found Kyle Alegria guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping and sexual conduct with a minor.

This afternoon, the panel decided that the severity and nature of the crime makes Alegria eligible for the death penalty.

The jury will hear more testimony Friday to determine if there are any factors that may merit leniency in the case.

The body of 7-year-old Rhia Almeida turned up in a wash behind Alegria's home in Ajo in 2009.

Deputies said Rhia lived a few streets away from Alegria's home and went there to play with Alegria's younger brother.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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