The State Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for a Ventura County man convicted of brutally murdering his neighbor in 1995, what he claimed was part of a burglary to get money to buy his kids Christmas presents.
Kenneth McKinzie of Oxnard attacked 73 year Ruth Avril, and put her in the trunk of his car while she was still alive. He hit her in the head, and strangled her before dumping her body in a ditch.
He at first denied killing Avril, but later confessed to killing the woman.
Under state law, death penalty cases are automatically appealed to the State Supreme Court. The justices upheld the conviction, clearing the way for McKinzie’s execution.