Dominic Chagolla will be spending the rest of his life in prison for murdering his mother in December 2010.
A jury convicted Chagolla of first-degree murder in late April for stabbing Maria Chagolla to death, and Judge Sherry Stephens sentenced him this morning to natural life in prison.
Maria Chagolla's body was found hidden under a blanket behind the passenger seat of the same car her son claimed she used to drop him off at a Glendale park the day she was reported missing, according to court documents previously obtained by New Times.
Maria Chagolla was stabbed in the face several times, including in both eyes.
When she didn't come home after dropping her son off at the park that day, family members began to question Dominic -- who showed up back at the family's home shortly after leaving with his mother, and was the last person to see her alive.
Family members confronted Dominic, but he became "evasive," according to court documents.
Chagolla was living off his mother, and spent a lot of his time working out, often three times per day.
He was 32 years old and had no job at the time, because his "mother gets him whatever he needs," the court documents stated.
His excuses, naturally, included going for a run at the park he claimed his mother dropped him off at, and later going to the gym for another workout session.
The problem with his story was two tile setters who were working in the area where his mother was found dead.
They saw a light-skinned male walking in the area carrying a black gym bag, and watched him jump a fence leading to a residential neighborhood. He later came back over the fence, without the bag.
The workers found that bag in a trash can on the other side of the fence, and that bag was full o' bloody clothes.
A family friend later told police the bloody clothes and the bag both belonged to Dominic Chagolla. That friend also told police Chagolla left the house with that bag, and did not return with that bag.
Chagolla told police the bloody clothes were his, but he denied having any part in his mother's murder. Chagolla also claimed ownership of bloody shoes found in the bag, but claimed he'd thrown those out a while back.
Police asked him if his DNA would be found on one of the articles of clothing, to which he replied "no comment."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
A jury found Chagolla guilty of first-degree murder and concealment of a dead body, and his sentencing is scheduled for June 29.
Chagolla's previous criminal history includes arrests for assault, criminal damage, and possessing burglary tools, and he was also named as a defendant in a purged domestic-violence case.
James King contributed to this post.