PHOENIX (Reuters) – An Arizona man was sentenced on Monday to life in jail for killing a pair and burying them in his yard in a 6-foot-deep grave he dug with a borrowed backhoe, his lawyer stated.
Jose Valenzuela, 42, was spared the demise penalty beneath a plea take care of prosecutors within the 2015 murders of Tina and Michael Careccia, every killed by a single shot to the pinnacle throughout an altercation on the shooter’s house.
Valenzuela, who admitted to taking methamphetamine on the time, pleaded responsible in July to first-degree homicide in Tina Careccia’s demise and second-degree homicide in Michael Careccia’s killing, paperwork confirmed.
Pinal County Superior Court docket Decide Christopher O’Neil gave Valenzuela a life sentence with out the opportunity of parole for the first-degree cost and 25 years for the second-degree homicide, the utmost allowed beneath state regulation.
Valenzuela lawyer Bobbi Falduto instructed Reuters her shopper was remorseful for his actions, blaming the murders of his pals on his deep issues with substance abuse.
“That is definitely a tragedy for everybody concerned,” Falduto stated. “Medication and alcohol can smash an individual’s life in a matter of minutes – that’s what occurred right here.”
Particular prosecutor Gary Husk stated he was happy with the sentence.
“I do imagine that justice was served,” he stated in a phone interview. “It’s going to make sure the defendant is rarely launched from jail.”
The crime shocked native residents and introduced nationwide consideration to Maricopa, a desert group about 30 miles (48 km) south of Phoenix.
Authorities stated Michael Careccia, 44, an airline pilot, and Tina Careccia, 42, an accountant, had been married for a few 12 months once they vanished that June, triggering a widespread search.
Valenzuela was taken into custody at his residence after admitting to the crimes throughout his fourth police interview, in response to courtroom papers. He had the .22-caliber Magnum homicide weapon with him.
Valenzuela stated he killed the couple after which cleaned his house to take away any hint of blood, wrapped the our bodies in a blanket and tarp and buried them with a buddy’s backhoe, paperwork confirmed.
The badly decomposed our bodies have been found buried a number of ft from his again door after the couple had been lacking for 11 days.
Reporting by David Schwartz; Enhancing by Dan Whitcomb and Peter Cooney