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Perez pleads ‘no contest,’ avoids trial PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:52

• Leader & Times
The sentencing for the last of four suspects has now been set in the case of an alleged carjacking which took place in January 2010.
On April 14, Matthew Perez pleaded no contest to one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. His sentencing is scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m. June 3 in Seward County District Court.
Perez’s trial was scheduled to start Monday, and that date came after the case was scheduled to be heard in January. However, attorneys for the state, at that time, could not find a material witness, and jurors were sent home shortly after arriving at the Seward County Courthouse the day the trial was scheduled to start.
The three other suspects in the case have each received their sentences. Jose Gil was convicted in November 2010 of one count each of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to 281 months in the Seward County Jail.
On Jan. 28, Juan Garza was sentenced to 88 months for one count of kidnapping and 59 months for one count of aggravated robbery. Earlier this month, Bobby Stensland was sentenced to 308 consecutive months in the Kansas Department of Corrections, with 247 of those served for one count of kidnapping and the other 61 for one count of aggravated robbery.
Stensland’s sentence, as was the case with Garza’s, came via a plea agreement, and the decision for Stensland’s came several months following a mistrial in which jurors could not agree on some of the charges. That came in November 2010, and the trial was on the docket again for February. However, Stensland opted instead for a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to each of the charges he was sentenced for.
The four suspects were arrested between Jan. 29, 2010, and March 1, 2010, by authorities in Ford and Finney counties, according to a statement from Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg.
Those arrests came following the alleged Jan. 10, 2010, incident in which a handicapped victim was forced out of his vehicle without his wheelchair and had to crawl for help.
The victim’s Blazer was later recovered in Finney County.

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