Joseluis Marquez was sentenced to life in prison, plus a few extra years, for the 2010 robbery and murder of 21-year-old Arizona State University student Kyleigh Sousa.
Sousa was dragged by a car in an attempted robbery of her purse in an IHOP parking lot just south of the University's Tempe campus on May 26, 2010. She later died from her injuries.
-Joseluis Marquez Found Guilty of Murder
-Joseluis Marquez's Plea Attempt Rejected
-Kyleigh Sousa Murder: Suspect Arrested
-Mother of ASU Student Killed in Robbery Tells New Times "We Did Everything Right"
-ASU Girl Dragged by Car During Robbery Attempt Dies From Injuries
We're checking with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office on this, but it appears that Marquez will be eligible for early release after serving 25 years in prison.
The County Attorney's Office made the following note after Marquez's conviction in October:
Under Arizona's Felony Murder statute, Marquez faces a possible sentence of natural life in prison for causing the death of an individual while committing or fleeing a felony offense, specifically, robbery. The law was amended on August 2nd, 2012 to eliminate the possibility of early release. Defendants convicted of crimes that occurred before that date may be eligible for release after serving 25 calendar years in prison.
Marquez's crime occurred in 2010, so it seems like he'd be eligible after 25 years.
Marquez was 20 years old at the time of Sousa's death, and he was arrested more than six months later, in December, 2010.
Marquez's lawyer offered prosecutors a plea deal in which Marquez would plead guilty to one count of manslaughter, and give him a prison sentence between 13.5 and 18 years. A spokesman for MCAO told New Times in March that prosecutors didn't even counter that proposal.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Marquez helped the cops catch him by getting a photo-radar ticket a couple weeks before Sousa's death, driving the same rental car he was allegedly driving during the botched robbery.
According to court documents, once police found out who the other occupants of the vehicle were, they told the cops Marquez was the driver and the person who grabbed Kyleigh's purse, leading to her death.
Police first contacted Marquez nearly a month before his arrest -- when he provided police with a story that later proved to be false, according to the cops -- but he would eventually be arrested after police tracked down the rental car.
On top of the 25-to-life sentence for first-degree murder, Judge Edward Bassett also sentenced Marquez to 2 1/2 years on the robbery charge.