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Man involved with drug cartel sentenced to life for murder

Illinois residents may be aware that a man who was believed to be involved in numerous killings all over the country was sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 2. Investigators believed that the 53-year-old man may have killed as many as three dozen people. Although he was found guilty for the murders of nine people, he reportedly stated that he had killed dozens over a period of three decades.

The man was taken into custody in 2013 in Arizona after it was discovered that he was wanted by the state of Alabama on a homicide charge. He was sent to Alabama to stand trial and was ultimately sentenced to 50 years. He was then sent to California to stand trial on nine counts of murder.

In October, he accepted a plea deal that would allow him to avoid the death penalty. Additionally, he was suspected to be involved in a double murder that occurred in Florida in 2006.

A person who is charged with multiple felonies will likely face a lengthy prison sentence depending on the nature of the charges. In some cases, a criminal defense attorney may fight the charges by providing evidence indicating that the defendant was not involved in the crimes. Counsel may also challenge the evidence if it was tampered with or if it was obtained illegally. If the prosecution has strong evidence against the defendant, counsel may find it advisable to enter into an agreement with the prosecution that would involve a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced penalty. The ultimate choice is up to the defendant.

Source: Reuters, "Drug cartel debt collector sentenced to life for California murders", Curtis Skinner, Nov. 2, 2015

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