British Columbia

Tenant convicted in murder of Vancouver rental agent

Diego Alphonso Huerta, 24, has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 10 years, for killing Sofien Kazdaghli in a Vancouver condo in 2017.

Diego Alphonso Huerta stabbed Sofien Kazdaghli to death in a Vancouver condo in 2017

Diego Huerta, 24, has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole for at least 10 years for the second-degree murder of Sofien Kazdaghli in 2017. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Diego Alphonso Huerta, 24, has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 10 years for killing Sofien Kazdaghli, 39, in a Vancouver condo in March 2017.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes announced the verdict Friday, finding Huerta guilty of second-degree murder, which comes with a mandatory life sentence. The Crown attorney and Huerta's lawyer, Chris Johnson, both agreed on the parole eligibility.

Kazdaghli was found dead in an apartment at 438 Seymour Street not long before Vancouver police arrested Huerta as he was boarding a Greyhound bus out of the city.

"I think it's tragic," Johnson said of the case. "It was inexplicable."

Johnson called the case unusual, saying Huerta had no history of violence before stabbing Kazdaghli during a dispute in the apartment.

"I was disappointed. I thought there was quite a bit of a room for a manslaughter verdict — that didn't occur," he said, adding there was psychiatric evidence that his client was in a dissociative state.

Johnson said his client acknowledged his role in the death throughout the trial, and issued an apology during the sentencing hearing.

In the course of the trial, the court heard that Kazdaghli, who was from Tunisia, managed several Vancouver properties by renting them from owners, before dividing the units into multiple rooms to sublet to tenants. According to Johnson, Huerta had lived in the condo for about three months before the murder.


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Rafferty Baker is a video journalist with CBC News, based in Vancouver, filing stories for cbc.ca, CBC Radio, and television.