A man accused of killing a woman who reportedly had rejected his romantic advances has been convicted of first-degree murder.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman on Friday found Timothy Varmall, 50, guilty in the death of 44-year-old Smurti Patel, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release. The judge also found that Varmall was armed and committed the murder by lying in wait for the victim.
Between September 2014 and February 2015, Varmall followed Patel and planned “coincidental” encounters with her to make her think favorably of him. His purpose was to find the best opportunity to kill the woman, the news release said.
On Feb. 9, 2015, Varmall stalked Patel and followed her onto a light-rail train. As they got off the train, Patel spotted Varmall and agreed to walk with him. As they walked across a dark lot on Del Paso Boulevard, Varmall stabbed Patel seven times, then fled the area.
Varmall staggered across the street to a restaurant, where medics were called. Patel died of her wounds four days later.
Varmall confided in one of Patel’s friends that he murdered her because he was romantically interested in Patel and she had rejected him, the news release said.
The court found that Varmall had two prior strike convictions under California’s “three strikes” law, both for sex offenses.
Varmall is to be sentenced June 9 by Bowman.