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SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of cutting up the body of a Colorado woman and hiding her remains in a suitcase after she overdosed pleaded guilty to reduced charges Tuesday.
Raymond Cordova, 50, pleaded guilty to desecration of a dead human body, reduced from a second-degree felony to a third-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.
Prosecutors have agreed to recommend that he be sentenced to two prison terms of up to five years and that they run concurrently. However, it will be up to the judge to determine the final sentence and whether he serves time after a lengthy sentence Cordova faces in Colorado. Sentencing is set for Aug. 14.
Cordova has been ordered to serve 60 years in prison for charges of conspiracy to distribute more than 112 grams of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute more than seven grams of meth, according to the Daily Sentinel in Cordova's hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado.
Cordova was charged in Utah in the death of 18-year-old Kelly Myers, who was last seen leaving her Grand Junction home with him on Dec. 18, 2014, headed to Utah for a birthday party in West Valley City. Myers died a day later in a rented room at the Country Inn and Suites in West Valley City.
After she died, prosecutors say Cordova, West Valley resident Eduardo Nasario Delacruz, and a man identified in court documents as D.W. conspired to get rid of her body.
Cordova proposed that the men "cut the body up and put it in a duffel bag or suitcase," charging documents state. The other two men said they wouldn't help him cut up the body, but allegedly said they would get him the supplies he needed to do it himself.
Delacruz and D.W. bought an electric saw, plastic sheets, gloves, masks, cleaning solution and a suitcase and gave them to Cordova, according to police. The electric saw "would be too loud," Cordova told the others, and he asked them to bring him a handsaw, the charges state.
Myers' body was placed in a "hard shell" suitcase, which was found on Feb. 28, 2015, in a hiking area known as Cactus Park, more than 40 miles southeast of Grand Junction.
Charges were filed against Cordova and Delacruz almost a year later in January 2016.
Delacruz pleaded guilty last month to obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, while the second-degree felony charge of desecration of a dead human body was dismissed. He was sentenced the same day to up to five years in prison.
The sentence was ordered to run concurrent with a one-year sentence for a class A misdemeanor charge after he pleaded guilty to spitting in the face of a correctional officer, hitting her eye and mouth with saliva, according to court documents. The sentence will run consecutively, however, to any other sentences.
The Daily Sentinel identified Delacruz as the "alleged ringleader" in a drug trafficking organization, "supplying large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and prescription narcotics." He has a criminal history in Utah and his last known address at the time of his arrest was a home in West Valley City.