Jury convicts Nevada inmate who escaped, then murdered Sacramento County man in victim’s home

An inmate who walked away from a Nevada detention camp and was later found at a Sacramento County home where he beat a man to death has been convicted of first-degree murder.

A Sacramento Superior Court jury on Monday found Jonathan Collin Autry, 46, guilty of murder in the death of 64-year-old Rocky Pastorino, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday in a news release.

Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies took Autry into custody in March 2021 just outside Pastorino’s apartment in Antelope. Shortly after, the deputies found Pastorino dead in his home.

Autry was an inmate being housed at the Stewart Conservation Detention Camp in Carson City, Nevada. The camp houses up to 360 minimum custody and community trustee inmates in five dormitory-type units, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections.

At the time, Autry was serving a two-to-five-year prison sentence for a Washoe County conviction of two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and one count each of fraudulent use of a credit card and making counterfeit money, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Two days before Pastorino was found dead in his home, Autry walked away from the Nevada detention facility. Nevada Department of Corrections officials said at the time that search teams were out looking for Autry, but they didn’t find him.

About 12:40 p.m. on March 23, 2021, the Sacramento sheriff’s deputies were called to Pastorino’s home in the 7700 block of Watt Avenue, near Davidson Drive and Blackfoot Way in Antelope. The deputies were at the apartment to check on Pastorino.

The deputies arrived and initially were unable to get anyone to answer at the door. Sheriff’s officials at the time said “persistent checking” revealed that a man, who Pastorino’s family did not know, was inside the apartment.

It remains unclear whether Autry knew Pastorino before the murder occurred.

The Sheriff’s Office had received multiple requests to check on Pastorino. Prosecutors said the deputies entered his apartment and found bedroom door that was closed and locked. The deputies believed Pastorino was inside the bedroom, so they instructed him to open the door.

They heard a person inside the bedroom reply “no” in a low voice, prosecutors said. Pastorino’s daughter was with the deputies in the apartment and told them that was not her father’s voice.

As the deputies prepared to kick the door open, they heard a window open and blinds moving inside the bedroom. Prosecutors said deputies ran outside and Autry running away from the apartment.

Sheriff’s officials said at the time that deputies tried to detain Autry, who physically resisted and became combative.

The deputies went back inside the apartment and found Pastorino dead inside the locked bedroom, prosecutors said. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office determined that Pastorino died from blunt force trauma.

On Tuesday, Autry remained in custody at the Sacramento County Jail. Hs sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27 in Sacramento Superior Court. Prosecutors said Autry faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.