Lawyer argues against Hard 50 for teen

STAN FINGER (The Wichita Eagle) | January 25, 2011

Moreno was drinking with Soto and others on that March night in 2009, according to testimony during Soto’s trial, and a witness said that, just before he went outside, he saw Soto pick up a knife.

Soto was one of three people originally charged with murder in the case. Giovanni Gonzalez was convicted last May of second-degree murder for his role in the stabbing and sentenced to more than 13 years in prison.

Luis Navarrette-Pacheco, originally charged with first-degree murder, has pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and aiding a felon. He is scheduled for sentencing on March 1.

Prosecutors want Soto, 18, a documented member of the Lopers subset of the Sur 13 street gang, to be handed a Hard 50 sentence — meaning he would have to serve 50 years before being eligible for parole.

That would mean Soto would not be eligible for parole until he is 68. Such a sentence, Zigtema told Kaufman, would deprive Soto of a chance to have a wife and family.

Those words prompted a shake of the head from Genoveva Ramos, Moreno’s younger sister, as she sat in the gallery of the courtroom.

Soto’s mother, Sanjuana, speaking through an interpreter, told the court that her son asked her to move the family from their home in Planeview when he was 13 or 14.

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