VAN NUYS, Calif. --
A Santa Monica man has been found guilty of murdering a woman whose body was found in the trunk of her car in Valley Village. The jury convicted 25-year-old Adel Chapel of first degree murder in the Feb. 28, 2009, slaying of 22-year-old Denise Figueroa of North Hills. He faces 56 years to life in prison when he is sentenced next month.
Figueroa's body was found in the trunk of her Nissan Altima more than a week after she disappeared, when a local TV station received a fax with an anonymous tip.
The victim was struck at least nine times in the head with a hammer and suffered other wounds that were likely defensive to her arm, according to the prosecutor.