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Teen Found Guilty of Murdering Younger Relative

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- A jury in Cass County found a teenager guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday afternoon in the January 2010 stabbing death of his cousin.

The trial of 18-year-old Reyes Olivas began on Wednesday, and by Thursday afternoon the jury had reached its verdict of guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action after just 25 minutes of deliberation.

According to court records, Olivas, who was 16 at the time, and 14-year-old Katie Rios began arguing while watching television. Police believe Olivas became enraged when Rios called him stupid and grabbed an eight-inch knife off the kitchen counter and threatened her with it.

Police say Rios then picked up the phone to call her parents, who were on their way home from Kansas City. That's when they say Olivas stabbed her, twice in the abdomen and once in the back.

When the parents came home, they found their daughter dead and Olivas missing. Olivas had been living with Katie Rios and her family for about three years in their rural Harrisonville home.

After a brief search, Olivas was arrested about three miles away. Police tracked him down by following footprints in the snow. Authorities said Rios' two younger siblings were home when she was killed.

Olivas' attorneys never denied their client's guilt in killing his cousin, but argued for a second-degree murder charge because they say that the crime was not premeditated.

Olivas, currently in the Cass County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond, now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. He will be formally sentenced on April 2.

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