A 25-year-old Santa Monica man has been convicted of killing his girlfriend, whose body was found in the trunk of a car in Valley Village last year.

A Van Nuys jury found Adel Tabrizi Chapel guilty Nov. 15 in the first-degree murder of Denise Figueroa, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jane Creighton, who prosecuted the case.

The body of the 22-year-old North Hills resident, who was killed with a hammer, was found in the trunk of a black Nissan Altima on a Valley Village street in March 2009, district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said. Police were notified by KTLA-TV of the body’s discovery after the station received an anonymous tip by fax.

Chapel is scheduled to be sentenced by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Martin Herscovitz on Dec. 2. Chapel faces 56 years to life in prison, Robison said.

The defendant is also waiting to be sentenced on Dec. 3 at Airport Superior Court in a separate carjacking and assault case, after he was convicted of all counts in that case in May, Robison said.

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