A jury reached a guilty verdict this morning in the case of a Burlingame man who beat his roommate to death in December 2011. Lawrence Hoffman, 65, faces 26 years to life in prison after the jury deliberated for a day and half and returned this morning to San Mateo County Superior Court with a first-degree murder verdict, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Hoffman was on trial for murdering his 70-year-old roommate Joe Consentino in an attack at their shared apartment in Burlingame on Dec. 5, 2011. During the trial Hoffman argued that he had been threatened by his roommate who had verbally abused him for weeks, according to prosecutors. He said Consentino confronted him in their Garden Drive apartment holding a mallet and ready to strike and spewed vitriol at him.
Hoffman said he had been able to get the mallet and “snapped” and attacked Consentino with the weapon. He continued to hit him on the head twice more after he had fallen to the ground. The man was found with a 5-inch fracture on his skull. Hoffman then covered the body with blankets and put an air freshener near the body before fleeing to the Los Angeles area, according to prosecutors. He also tossed blood-covered clothing and the mallet in a Dumpster. The weapon was never recovered. Burlingame police discovered the body on Dec. 8 — the same day Hoffman was arrested in Glendale, Calif., after he told an acquaintance about the deadly attack. He is scheduled to return to court to be sentenced on July 12 at 2 p.m.
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