Man Threw Girlfriend, Recliner Off Balcony

A Texas man was found guilty this week of a brutal murder that took place in June 2020. The man, 39-year-old Raymond Antonio Rivera, was convicted of killing his girlfriend, 50-year-old Nilsa Maria Arce, by throwing her off the balcony of her apartment in Killeen, Texas. In a shocking turn of events, Rivera then threw a 50-pound orange recliner onto Arce’s body, resulting in a broken neck and other severe injuries that led to her death in the following days.

The murder, which was a case of domestic violence, occurred in broad daylight at the Henderson Garden Apartments. Arce, a mother of one, was seen arguing with Rivera around lunchtime before she was heard screaming and subsequently fell two stories. Eyewitnesses, including Roxanne Rodriguez, a former resident of the apartment complex, testified that Rivera then threw the recliner onto Arce’s face, which they believe was the cause of her death.

Rodriguez testified that she saw Arce “breathing very heavily” before Rivera threw the recliner, after which all went silent. She also stated that Rivera continued to throw objects off the balcony, creating what looked like a “pile of trash” on top of the victim.

Another witness, a U.S. Army veteran named Aden Puente Santiago, testified that he removed the recliner from Arce’s body and attempted to administer first aid. Santiago also recounted how he and others chased Rivera when he tried to flee the scene, eventually holding him down until the police arrived.

The murder was included in the Texas Council on Family Violence’s 2020 report on victims of “intimate partner violence”. According to the report, Arce died in the hospital two days after the attack and is survived by her adult daughter.

Rivera’s conviction could result in a prison sentence of up to 100 years. His sentencing is scheduled for the afternoon of May 30 before Judge John Gauntt, with two hours set aside for the hearing.