Crime - Sacto 911

Rio Linda man convicted of second-degree murder in roommate's death

A Rio Linda man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the April 2013 shooting death of his roommate.

A Sacramento County jury on Tuesday also found true that Stephen Brainard, 57, personally discharged a firearm, causing the death of 51-year-old Julia Bullinger, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release.

Brainard had previously dated Bullinger, and after their relationship ended, he continued to live in Bullinger’s Rio Linda house as her roommate.

On April 30, he entered her bedroom, disabled all the phones in the room, and shot her three times in the chest and torso at close range, authorities said.

The following day, Brainard called the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to report that he had shot his roommate. When deputies arrived at the house, he initially refused to come out or to put down his firearm. He finally came out of the house after a four-hour standoff and was arrested.

Brainard is to be sentenced May 9 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene Balonon.