NC man sentenced to life for killing snack vendor

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A Winston-Salem man is sentenced to life in prison for killing a snack vendor in 2009 during a botched robbery at a food truck.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports (http://bit.ly/18Su9bO ) a jury convicted Jose Portillo on Wednesday of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery for killing 35-year-old Cirilo Avila.

Prosecutors say Portillo attempted to rob Avila as he sold snacks at an apartment complex for a grocery store. Avila shot Portillo twice. Portillo shot Avila four times. Avila died from internal bleeding after a bullet punctured his aorta and lung.

Portillo told investigators another man planned the robbery, and the two were splitting the money. That man has never been found.

Portillo's attorneys argued his statements weren't reliable because he was intellectually disabled, illiterate and still under the influence of drugs.

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Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com

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