A U.S. Army mechanic accused of killing a California couple and their friend in September 2016 was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday, according to reports.
The case of defendant Joshua Acosta, 23, drew notoriety because Acosta, a co-defendant, and the couple were linked to the “furry” community, made up of people who like to dress up like animals, the Orange County Register reported.
Acosta told police that he killed the couple – Jennifer Yost, 39, and Christopher Yost, 34, of Fullerton -- to protect their 17-year-old daughter, who was also a furry, according to the report. The third victim was identified as Arthur Boucher, 28, a friend of the family.
The girl testified during the trial that he stepfather molested her regularly between ages 7 and 15. The killings occurred on the night that the teen planned to tell her mother about the abuse from her stepfather, the report said.
The girl had asked Acosta and co-defendant Frank Felix to help her run away, but didn’t realize that Acosta planned to kill her parents. Acosta testified during the trial that he hadn’t told the girl, and she testified, under immunity, that she didn’t learn that her parents were dead until police told her later. Acosta told investigators he had fatally shot all three victims.
The couple’s two youngest daughters, then ages 6 and 9, had found the bodies, authorities said.
Felix is being tried separately in connection with the slayings.
Acosta is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14. He faces life in prison without parole, the Register reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.