A former nursing home worker accused of body-slamming one 78-year-old woman and encouraging wheelchair-confined residents of a pricey assisted-living facility to fight was found guilty Thursday of torture and elder abuse.
Jurors deliberated for less than a day before convicting Cesar Ulloa.
"He attacked the most vulnerable people, and he laughed while doing it. This was sport for him," Deputy District Attorney Robin Allen with the Elder Abuse Unit said.
The Silverado Senior Living facility in Calabasas specializes in caring for people with dementia and charges $70,000 a year or more for care, prosecutors said.
Ulloa, 21, preyed on residents who were unable to tell anyone about the abuse because they suffered from dementia or other conditions, witnesses testified during the trial.
He came under suspicion after the 2007 death of Elmore Kittower. The day after his funeral, his widow got a telephone call from the mother of a worker at the home, who told her that her husband had been beaten to death.
The body was exhumed and found to have several broken bones. An autopsy concluded that he had been abused for months and blunt force trauma contributed to his death.
The jury convicted Ulloa of seven counts of elder abuse and one count of torture. He was also accused of jumping on the chest of the 78-year-old woman.
The retirement home has denied any wrongdoing.
Ulloa was fired from the facility for unrelated reasons and has been jailed since his arrest in 2008. He faces a life sentence when he's sentenced on May 26.
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Ex-Worker Guilty of Torturing Elderly in CA
Former Nursing Home Employee Stands Trial for Elder Abuse and Torture