San Diego Superior Court in Vista
San Diego Superior Court in Vista. File photo

A man who fatally beat his cousin in the front yard of an Oceanside home was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder.

Joel Cardona, 37, was found guilty for the Aug. 2, 2018, death of Nestor Jurado, 37, following a trial that began last week at the Vista courthouse. A sentencing date has not yet been set, but the second-degree murder conviction means Cardona faces at least 15 years to life in state prison.

Cardona was arrested on the morning of Aug. 2 during a tussle with Jurado in front of a home on Arthur Avenue, according to police and prosecutors. Jurado was unconscious by the time officers arrived and arrested Cardona, and medics tried in vain to revive him before pronouncing him dead at the scene.

The motive for the fight and subsequent killing was unclear.

A Feb. 18 court date was set, during which Cardona’s prior convictions will be reviewed, potentially affecting his sentence.

— City News Service