Miguel Pacheco, 35, of Visalia was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the death of his stepson, Dameian “Luke” Gulley, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said.
Pacheco reported the 14-year-old boy missing on Nov. 18, 2013, prompting a search by the Visalia Police Department.
Several days later, an off-duty National Park Service employee was walking her dog in a remote area of Sequoia National Park when she discovered the teen’s body partly covered near a dead-end dirt road.
Police arrested Pacheco five days later, after surveillance video showed Pacheco’s van entering and leaving the park at night.
He used an electrical cord to strangle the boy in the family home, upset about Luke disobeying him by staying out late and not wanting to come home, an investigator testified at a preliminary hearing.
Pacheco will be sentenced Jan. 11 and faces 25 years to life in state prison.