Plea Accepted In Double Murder

Nov 17, 2013

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,

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