A Vancouver Island man has been found guilty in the murder of a California woman 29 years ago.
Anthony Michael Kubica, 63, was convicted by jury of first-degree murder on Nov. 19 for the killing of Marie Darling, 78, after just a single day of deliberations in Banning, California.
The jury found the Shawnigan Lake man guilty of kidnapping and murdering the wealthy Palm Springs resident who disappeared from her home in 1990.
Darling’s body was found wrapped in a sleeping bag by hikers alongside a highway, with her feet bound in duct tape.
An autopsy performed on the body at the time found the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.
Kubica’s sentencing is set for Jan. 10, but his lawyers have already filed a motion to dismiss the verdict.
John Hall, a public information officer with Riverside County’s district attorney’s office, said the prosecution was confident in the evidence in the case.
“We do not file charges in any case unless we believe we can prove to a jury that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
“That is the standard we must abide by in any case.”
It was discovered after Darling’s body was found that more than $184,000 had been transferred out of her Swiss bank account to an account in Anguilla that Kubica, who lived and operated a company in Palm Springs at the time, had allegedly opened around the same time the body was found.
Kubica and his wife, whom the court documents refer to as CJ, were suspects early in the investigation but the trail went cold.
A cold-case investigator later discovered that Kubica’s wife was Darling’s financial advisor, even though she’d denied knowing Darling during the original investigation.
Kubica’s wife has since died.
Kubica was living in the Cowichan Valley in 2017 when California issued a request for him to extradited to the U.S. to stand trial.
The B.C. Supreme Court ruled there was enough evidence for him to be extradited to face charges of murder and kidnapping last year. Kubica was extradited in late 2018, after final approval from former federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould