Man guilty of strangling woman in Wyoming

Raul Perez
Raul Perez appears in a Kent County courtroom for his trial on Aug. 29, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Mexican national who had been deported twice has been convicted of strangling a woman in her Wyoming apartment.

On Thursday, a jury found 44-year-old Raul Perez guilty of first-degree murder in the October 2016 death of 31-year-old Karla Guadalupe-Magaña.

Karla Guadalupe-Magaña
An undated courtesy photo of Karla Guadalupe-Magaña.

Perez’s adult daughter testified in her father’s trial earlier this week, saying he called her after killing Guadalupe-Magaña.

“He said, ‘I need to tell you something.’ I said, ‘What’s up?’ He said, ‘I did something wrong, really bad.’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And then he said that he had killed the lady,” Kimberly Perez testified.

At first she didn’t believe him, but she called police and they followed her to Woodcreek Apartments on 44th Street east of Burlingame Avenue SW. There, they found Raul Perez father drunk and passed out in a bedroom and Guadalupe-Magaña’s body in the bathroom.

Detectives say Perez told them he was pursuing a romantic relationship with Guadalupe-Magaña, but she wanted to see other people. She got a call from someone who Perez assumed was another man and tried to leave, at which point they fought. A detective said Perez confessed to strangling Guadalupe-Magaña.

Perez wasn’t supposed to be in the U.S., having been deported twice since 2005. He was picked up for drunken driving four days before the murder but — for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear — was not flagged as being in the country illegally, so he was released.