Paul Gentile Smith was convicted earlier this month in Orange County Superior Court of the 1988 torture and murder of a friend at the victim's Sunset Beach home.
Smith was found guilty of one count of felony murder with the special circumstances of torture. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on November 29th.
Orange County Prosecutors said Smith stabbed his longtime friend Robert Haugen eighteen times at Haugen's Sunset Beach apartment before setting the victim's remains on fire.
Police were able to charge Smith last year after connecting Smith with DNA from the scene. Smith has also been charged with witness tampering for allegedly hiring a hitman to assault the lead investigator in his murder case.