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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tucson teen faces prison in stepdad’s killing, separate shooting

4-4-2012 Arizona:

A Tucson teenager admitted Wednesday to shooting and killing his mother’s boyfriend and to shooting at another man in August 2010.

Angel Marcelino Lerma, 18, is facing between seven and 36 years in prison for manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Jorge Castillo, 36, was killed after getting into an argument with Lerma outside a trailer at the Desert Breeze Mobile Home Park, 5344 S. Park Ave.

Lerma was arrested five days later and indicted on first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges.

Assistant Pima County Public Defender Sheena Chawla said after Wednesday’s hearing that her client shot Castillo, a registered sex offender who was in the country illegally, because he was beating Lerma’s mother in front of several of children. Joaquin Armenta was almost shot in the process, she said.

Armenta told Pima County Superior Court Judge Teresa Godoy the potential sentence Lerma is facing is too light for someone who killed one person and tried to kill another.

Chawla asked for a June sentencing date because she intends to present a large amount of mitigating evidence.

Court records indicate Chawla had concerns about Lerma’s competency to stand trial because he was a special education student, had sustained multiple blows to the head in the five years preceding his arrest and used drugs for a lengthy period of time starting at a young age.

Lerma was ultimately deemed competent. He will be sentenced June 18. ..Source.. by Kim Smith, Arizona Daily Star

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