Jury convicts valley man who killed ex-girlfriend in her garage - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Jury convicts valley man who killed ex-girlfriend in her garage

Posted: Updated:
Attorneys made closing arguments on Thursday in the trial against Brandon Hanson, accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend last year inside of her garage on Russell and Buffalo. (FOX5) Attorneys made closing arguments on Thursday in the trial against Brandon Hanson, accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend last year inside of her garage on Russell and Buffalo. (FOX5)
A photo of Makayla Rhiner was shown during a press conference on Aug. 9, 2017. (Cherney Amhara/FOX5) A photo of Makayla Rhiner was shown during a press conference on Aug. 9, 2017. (Cherney Amhara/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A jury found Brandon Hanson guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend inside of her garage on Russell Road and Buffalo Drive last year.

He was convicted Friday of murder with a deadly weapon, burglary and robbery with a deadly weapon and vehicle tampering.

Police said he snuck up behind 21-year-old Makayla Rhiner and stabbed her to death

"If you could fit all things that are good in someone, that would encompass Makayla," family friend Freddy Lopez said. "She was just like a little sister to me."

Investigators interviewed Brandon Hanson, who confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend. He later pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.

"If God hasn't left him, I'm not going to leave him either," Hanson's aunt, Linda Brooks said. "That doesn't mean I condone anything. I just want him to know that I still love him ... Nobody wins here. Both families are grieving and my heart goes out to the other family."

Hanson's defense attorney blamed mental illness and side effects from the drug Zoloft. He compared his client to a "cracked egg" and "damaged goods." He also urged the jury to consider a voluntary manslaughter charge instead of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors argued that the killing was premeditated. They described Hanson as obsessive, manipulative and controlling. They said Hanson threatened to kill himself if Rhiner left him and then lied that he had cancer to get her to stay.

RELATED: Ex-boyfriend in custody for Las Vegas woman's death

RELATED: Family of woman slain by ex-boyfriend urge domestic violence awareness

Lopez said he wasn't happy with the way Hanson presented himself in court.

"One second, he would look a little distraught and the next, you look over again and he's smiling or he's smirking at something," Lopez said. "Absolutely reprehensible, and it just shows his true character."

Hanson was scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 7.

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly
Fox 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KVVU Broadcasting Corporation, Las Vegas, NV and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.