gaveldecision.jpgA man was convicted today of trying to kill his estranged wife with a hammer in 2008 at her home near San Francisco’s Twin Peaks.

Steve Acosta, 59, faced 22 separate charges in the case, including attempted murder, torture, mayhem, stalking, making criminal threats, burglary and violating a restraining order.

His estranged wife, Kimberly Celoni, was attacked with a hammer on April 16, 2008, at her home on Glenview Drive, where Acosta had also repeatedly threatened and vandalized her property in the days leading up to the attack, prosecutors said.

Celoni was left with permanent cognitive and physical injuries from the attack.

A San Francisco Superior Court jury found Acosta guilty of 20 of the 22 counts, acquitting him of two of the criminal threats charges.

Acosta also had two prior convictions for assault in 1974 and 1986, and could face a life sentence under the state’s three strikes law.

His defense attorney, Floyd Andrews, said outside of court that Acosta was a recovering addict who began using drugs again after having back surgery and getting painkillers.

He and Celoni had been married for 11 years, but after using drugs again, Acosta began accusing her of having affairs, even one with a man who had been dead for years, Andrews said.

He said the jury’s verdict was “not unexpected” since he had acknowledged Acosta was guilty of the attack during the trial.

Acosta will return to court on Wednesday for a trial to affirm his two previous convictions and likely to set a date for sentencing.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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