Jury finds man guilty in Bonita Springs woman’s murder in 2017

Published: July 19, 2021 4:13 PM EDT
Updated: July 19, 2021 11:38 PM EDT

A jury found a man guilty of involvement in the murder of a woman in Southwest Florida almost four years ago.

Cristian Dilan, 23, was been found guilty of second-degree murder Monday for the killing of 34-year-old Sara Nicholson in Bonita Springs in October 2017.

After more than four hours listening back to jailhouse phone calls and reviewing transcripts, the jury delivered the verdict.

Closing arguments wrapped up Monday after four days of testimony in Dilan’s trial.

A judge gave the jury final instructions before jurors deliberated about Dilan who is now convicted on all counts with the robbery, beating and murder of Nicholson.

Dilan took the stand in his own defense Monday morning. He said he was at Nicholson’s house in 2017 only to help someone he knew get his belongings out of her home.

Prosecutors say Dilan and two others went to the home of Nicholson on Squire Lane to beat, stab and rob her. Dilan and Raymond Gomez were arrested in the case. Authorities have neither announced an arrest for the third man nor said if he is a person of interest in the case.

Dilan denied he had anything to do with Nicholson’s death, but now he faces life in prison for her murder.

Dilan will be held in custody without bond until his sentencing scheduled for Aug. 23. Then, he will hear victim impact statements.

A friend of the Nicholson family told us this tragedy did not end one life but destroyed dozens of lives, writing Sarah’s life was not lost, rather she was brutally murdered. Guilty was the only verdict Sarah’s family wanted to hear Monday night.

Sarah Nicholson’s parents told WINK News they were anxiously waiting for justice for their daughter Monday ahead of his guilty verdict.