Jury Finds Former Firefighter Guilty in Brutal 1991 San Jose Slaying

Julie Bucalo's killer is Ralph Baldenegro, a jury found.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Jul 17, 2014  |  Updated 10:53 PM PDT
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Former Firefighter Guilty in Brutal 1991 SJ Slaying

Julie Bucalo's killer has been brought to justice.

A jury needed "only a few hours" this week to find Ralph Baldenegro, 64, guilty of the 1991 slaying of the 26-year old San Jose accountant, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Baldenegro will spend the rest of his life in prison; he is already serving a 94-year sentence for a 2006 attack on a girlfriend and her teenage daughter, the newspaper reported.

Bucalo would have been 50 years old next week. Her family called the conviction "a good birthday present for her," the newspaper reported.

Before the Feb. 4, 1991 murder, Bucalo and Baldenegro both worked in the same San Jose building. He began stalking her, the newspaper reported, but when she turned up dead -- bound and strangled, after an attempted rape -- Bucalo's then-boyfriend was the prime suspect, the newspaper reported.

However, Baldenegro's DNA was discovered on Bucalo's hand and on her clothes, the newspaper reported, which convinced the jury  of his guilt.

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