Louis Eugene Harper was sentenced yesterday to life in prison for the 2010 robbery and murder of Arizona State University student Zachary Marco.
Harper, 21, will be eligible for parole after 25 years, but Harper also earned an extra 15 years in prison for armed robbery, and those sentences will run consecutively.
-Louis Harper Pleads Guilty in 2010 Murder of ASU Student Zachary Marco
-Two Suspects Held on $1 Million Bail. Cops Fear for Third Suspect's Safety
-Two Suspects in Custody. Dad to Alleged Accomplice: "Deal's Off the Table"
-Mother of Suspect Says Son Didn't Do it -- Calls Tempe Police "Dogs"
Harper pleaded guilty last month to the charges as part of a plea agreement.
Marco was 21 years old when he was gunned down after refusing to give up his belongings as two men attempted to rob him while walking home from the school's Tempe campus.
That other man was Harper's co-defendant, Marion Patterson III, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February. Based on court records, it appears that his sentencing is scheduled to be held later this month.
Marco was the second ASU student to be murdered in 2010, about five months after Kyleigh Sousa was killed in a robbery attempt in the parking lot across the street from the school's Tempe campus. The killer in that case, Joseluis Marquez, was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder last month, after the Maricopa County Attorney's Office rejected his attorney's attempts for a plea deal.
Marquez is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14 in that case.
In Marco's case, his killers were arrested about a month after his death.
A few weeks before the two were arrested, Marco's father made a plea to a national audience on CBS's The Early Show, asking that the shooter's accomplice turn himself in. In return, Dan Marco said he'd help provide legal defense to the accomplice, ensuring he'd get a deal that "allows him to see the light of day again."
After Patterson's and Harper's arrests, Dan Marco made it clear that they didn't turn themselves in, and the deal was off the table.
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Both suspects' fingerprints were found on Zachary Marco's computer bag, which was located later near the crime scene, and text messages between Patterson and Harper discussing the shooting were found by police as a result of a search warrant.
Patterson and Harper won their gamble by not turning themselves in, in a sense, since neither of them will be ordered by a judge to die in prison without the chance of parole.
Still, they may not want to look at a calendar for quite some time.