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home : news : local   May 27, 2016

9/14/2013 5:58:00 AM
Luis Lomeli said he deserved sentence as short as Jason Ward for murder

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

Friday, a judge denied a motion to reconsider sentence for Luis Lomeli, one of the two men who physically beat and killed Darrio Hunter in a robbery May 2, 2011, in Ottawa.

Luis Lomeli argued he deserved a new sentence on the grounds that Hunter’s other assailant, Jason L. Ward, was sentenced to 15 years fewer and because of unflattering remarks made by Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia about what kind of father Lomeli was to his children.

“He’s very upset about that,” defense attorney Liam Dixon said of Lomeli, who was not present Friday. “He wanted me to put that in the record.”

In response, assistant state’s attorney Jeremiah Adams argued that while Ward entered a negotiated plea, Lomeli took his chances with a jury and lost. As for the comments, Adams said, they were within bounds given the circumstances of the case.

Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia denied the motion, but also clarified her sentencing-day comments and said the words she used then “should not have been made.”

Lomeli will resume serving 45 years for first-degree murder, but Friday’s denial enables him to now take up his case with the 3rd District Appellate Court.

Next, the last of the murder suspects will plead guilty to a reduced charge.

Joshua Ward initially was charged with murder but will plead guilty Sept. 27 to armed robbery and be sentenced to 30 years (15 to be served) for turning witness for the state.

The Hunter case concludes Oct. 25 when Jamie Lomeli, Luis’ sister, is sentenced for first-degree murder. She never laid a finger on Hunter, but was convicted of felony murder for luring Hunter to her residence — knowing Luis and Jason Ward intended to rob him — under the guise of selling drugs to them.

She faces 20-60 years with no possibility of probation.

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