A man who used to perform in a Las Vegas strip Cirque Du Soleil act was found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday for viciously killing and dismembering his burlesque dancer ex-girlfriend.
Jason "Blu" Griffith sat motionless as the verdict was read in Clark County District Court. His defense attorney, Jeff Banks, reached to him and placed his arm around Griffith's shoulders.
The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about 14 hours over two days after hearing nine days of testimony about the strangulation death of Deborah Flores Narvaez during a Dec. 12, 2010, argument at Griffith's home.
After hearing the verdict, Celeste Flores Narvaez, Flores' sister, sobbed into her mother's shoulder.
Griffith could face 10 years to life in prison when he is sentenced July 23, or a definite 10 to 25 years. He could have faced up to life in prison had he been convicted of first-degree murder.
Deborah Flores' disappearance drew intense attention for almost a month before Griffith's housemate, Louis Colombo, led police to her dismembered remains in tubs of concrete in a vacant downtown house.
The trial was a tale of sex, lies, betrayal and violence between two passionate and ambitious Las Vegas Strip dancers.
Griffith spent four days testifying that Flores' death was self-defense. He said he grabbed her from behind with his arms around her neck when he thought she was reaching for a purse that may have contained a gun. No weapon was found. He said he panicked afterward and asked Colombo to help dispose of the body.
Prosecutors derided Griffith's self-defense claim as a fabrication.
Griffith, 35, is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y. He went by the name "Blu" as a performer in the Cirque du Soleil show "Love," based on Beatles music at The Mirage resort.