Man convicted in wife's brutal 2010 killing


A jury convicted Richard Forsberg of second-degree murder, but the prosecution was looking for a first-degree murder conviction that would have made him eligible for the death penalty.

The jury was deadlocked 10-2 in favor of a first-degree murder conviction. Both sides agreed to allow the jury to deliberate on a second-degree murder conviction.

"We wanted them to deliberate on a second-degree murder rather than having to retry the case from the beginning," said prosecutor Ebrahim Beytieh. "Five minutes into that, they came back with a verdict."

Forsberg was convicted in the death of his wife, Marcia Ann, in their Rancho Santa Margarita home on Feb. 9, 2010. According to investigators, Forsberg and his wife got into a heated argument, and he grabbed a small statue and hit his wife over the head with it, killing her.

During the trial, evidence showed that Forsberg kept his dead wife's body at home and then dismembered it. Investigators say Forsberg took the body parts to a campground in Ventura County and burned the remains.

Six months after Marcia was murdered, concerned friends reported her missing. Forsberg told her friends that they were having marital problems, and said she left.

After being interviewed by detectives in August 2010, Forsberg went to a Palm Springs casino, where he tried to kill himself by swallowing a large amount of pills. After waking up a couple days later in the hospital, he contacted police and confessed to the killing. Jurors watched videotapes of Forsberg telling investigators how many cuts he made to her body.

Marcia Forsberg was a retired writer and a breast cancer survivor. Her remains have never been found.

Forsberg is due back in court on Feb. 1 for sentencing. He faces 15 years to life in prison.

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