SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury about two hours Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty of killing his girlfriend Kim Schmidt on New Year's Eve 2011.
Wednesday morning prosecutors started its closing arguments with Arteaga's 911 call after Schmidt's mother found her daughter's body in her north Spokane home. Deputy Prosecutor John Love contends the recording was the very first sign Arteaga was responsible for Schmidt's murder.
"'Uh, report of a dead body.' That is how Daniel Arteaga described the woman that he loved for six and a half years and he just spent a night having sex talking about their relationship," Love said.
Prosecutors said Arteaga's "relationship" with Schmidt was over and when he realized Schmidt wanted to spend the first day of 2012 with a new man and a new way of life he wasn't about to let that happen.
"Daniel Arteaga was being replaced. He was on the way out and he didn't like it," Love told the jury.
The quick verdict the jury handed down to Arteaga came as a relief to Toni Schmidt, Kim Schmidt's mom.
"I'm very pleased with the jury and I think justice for my daughter has finally been served and I look forward for the whole family to be able to recover and move on now," Schmidt said.
The jury also found Arteaga guilty of using a firearm in commission of a crime. That deadly weapons enhancement will likely tack on an extra five years to his prison sentence.