EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - A 40-year-old man has been sentenced to
60 years in prison after confessing to shooting his 16-year-old
girlfriend and burning her body.
The Monitor in McAllen reports Samuel Villarreal, from Mercedes,
pleaded guilty to capital murder on yesterday. The guilty plea came
in the midst of his trial in the death of Aida Mae Rodriguez.
He had maintained his innocence and had even rejected a previous
plea deal two weeks ago offering a lesser prison sentence.
If he had been convicted by a jury, he could have faced the
Lopez said Villarreal offered no explanation on what might have
prompted him to change his mind.
Prosecutors alleged Villarreal planned Rodriguez's death to
silence her after she allegedly walked in on him raping a
13-year-old relative, who later had his child.
Both the alleged rape victim, now 15, and Villarreal's child are
in foster care.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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