SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A former Marine who shot his neighbor to death following a Christmas-morning argument in Oceanside was convicted Friday of second-degree murder.
Robert Glenn Pulley, 48, faces more than 43 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 2 in the death of Jimmy Misaalefua.
Jurors also found Pulley guilty of threatening and hitting his 20-year-old son Matthew about 45 minutes before Misaalefua was killed.
Pulley was acquitted of threatening his wife about six weeks before the murder.
About 2:45 a.m. Dec. 25, 2010, Pulley went to Misaalefua's house and started talking to his 44-year-old neighbor. The conversation initially appeared to be friendly, said Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior, who added there had been no previous bad blood between the defendant and the victim.
At some point, the conversation moved to a nearby cul-de-sac between the men's homes, and a witness heard Pulley tell Misaalefua, "I've got something for you," according to Prior.
On the stand last week, Pulley denied making that statement.
Prior said the defendant walked into his own home as Misaalefua headed in the same direction behind him. Pulley retrieved the loaded gun from his house, walked back to a driveway outside his garage and fired at the victim, the prosecutor said.
Pulley fired two shots, with one hitting Misaalefua in the chest, according to authorities.
Pulley testified that he kept two loaded handguns in his home for protection, and he retrieved one of those guns after getting into a scuffle with Misaalefua.
Pulley said Misaalefua was bigger than him and had struck him once already.
"I was attacked," Pulley testified.
He said he retrieved his gun from inside his home "because I thought Jimmy and his family were coming in my house."
On Nov. 11, about six weeks before the fatal shooting, Pulley was drunk and threatened to shoot his wife in their home, prompting a nearly three-hour standoff with police, the prosecutor said.
About 2 a.m. Christmas Day, Pulley, who again was drunk, punched his son in the face, knocking him to the ground, according to Prior. The young man told his father that he really didn't want to hit him back, prompting the defendant to tell his son, "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to stab you. I'm going to shoot you," according to the prosecutor.
When the Oceanside Fire Department responded, it took four firefighters to restrain the defendant, but he was not arrested, Prior said. About 45 minutes later, Oceanside police responded to a "shots fired" 911 call placed from the same location, the prosecutor said.
Pulley told detectives he was outside when Misaalefua, a friend and neighbor for five years, punched him after the two exchanged words. Pulley said he had been drinking in the hours leading up to the shooting.
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