Regional
10:16 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Plea Accepted In Double Murder

A Santa Fe man who shot and killed his pregnant girlfriend and her father faces up to 32 years in prison under a plea agreement approved by a state district judge.

Marino Leyba Jr. pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of 17-year-old Sarah Lovato and 50-year-old Bennie Ray Lovato.

The 27-year-old Leyba will be sentenced Dec. 13.

Leyba was initially convicted of first-degree murder in 2010 and sentenced to 63 years in prison, but the state Supreme Court overturned the verdict last year. The court ruled a key piece of the evidence against Leyba was inadmissible hearsay.

Lovato family members told Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer during Friday's hearing that they were opposed to the plea agreement.

___

Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.