Jurors acquitted Christian Alexander Ortiz, now 26, of murder and found him guilty of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter involving the September 2018 death of 20-year-old Brayan “Brian” Rodriguez, according to Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorney Julie Kramer.
Ortiz testified in his own defense and contended that Rodriguez had died accidentally during “erotic asphyxiation,” according to the prosecutor, who countered that the act was intentional and that the defendant knew the conduct was dangerous to human life.
Friends and relatives had spent much of the weekend searching for Rodriguez, passing out flyers with his photo. Rodriguez’s body was found Sept. 24, 2018, in Ortiz’s closet at the home in the 23600 block of Via Valer.
Ortiz was arrested the next day by Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide investigators and was released from jail after the jury returned its verdict May 18, according to jail records.
City News Service contributed to this article.