A San Luis Obispo jury convicted a man on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the case of a heated argument between roommates that turned fatal.
Charles Chad Giese, 43, killed Walter Ernest Vallivero, 54, on Nov. 15, 2015, following an argument at their mobile home near the San Luis Obispo airport. Giese used a baseball bat and a knife during the deadly fight, according to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.
When sheriff’s deputies arrived at the mobile home, they found Vallivero’s body lying in the bathtub. There were blood droplets in the kitchen, blood drag marks on the floor and blood splattered on the television, a sheriff’s forensic specialist testified. The aluminum baseball bat also had blood splattered on it, the forensic specialist said.
Giese and Vallivero had been roommates for about three months, and neighbors said they would have loud arguments, according to the district attorney’s office.
Giese’s mother, Brenda Caves, was the individual who reported the violent incident to police. Caves previously testified that her son told her that Vallivero started drinking in the morning and was banging on walls and slamming doors. Giese and Vallivero got into a fight, which led to Giese hitting Vallivero with a baseball bat and dragging his body into the bathtub, Caves said.
During a three-week trial, Giese’s attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu argued that his client acted in self-defense and that the killing was justified. Giese did not testify.
Following two days of deliberation, the jury convicted Giese of first-degree premeditated murder. He now faces 27 years to life in prison.
“While we can only imagine the impact this horrific crime has had on the family and friends of Mr. Vallivero, we are hopeful that this conviction will provide some solace,” District Attorney Dan Dow said. “We thank the jurors who patiently and conscientiously evaluated this very difficult case.”
Giese’s sentencing is scheduled for July 12 in Judge Jacqueline Duffy’s courtroom.