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Suspect Sentenced in Christmas Slaying

Suspect Sentenced in Christmas Slaying

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- Jose Juan Rodriguez Valle has been sentenced to life in prison with possible parole for an execution-style slaying last Christmas.

Rodriguez Valle, 32, had pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in the stabbing and beating death of Luis Moreno Martinez, 28, of Ogden.

Martinez's body was found near the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 just east of the Adams toll road exit on the Davis County boundary. His eyes and nose had been taped shut with duct tape and his hands bound behind him.

No one from the victim's family was at the sentencing hearing to testify, and the defendant did not say anything to explain his actions. He previously admitted in court that he kidnapped, beat and slit the throat of his companion after they had consumed vast quantities of alcohol and methamphetamine.

Both men were undocumented workers and Rodriguez Valle will be deported if he is paroled.

Defense attorney James A. Valdez told 2nd District Judge Glen R. Dawson that his client had displayed good behavior and that his record shows no similar acts in his past either in Mexico or in the United States.

"He is taking responsibility for what he has done," Valdez told.

"We're aware that he will serve a good portion, if not the rest of his life, in prison," he said.

Valdez said previously that Rodriguez was raised by uncles who sexually abused him. He fled home early and lived as a "street urchin" in Mexico, fending off physical and sexual abuse, the attorney.

As a child of the streets, Rodriguez Valle sniffed glue and consumed meth, often was victimized by others including being beaten to the point of unconsciousness. He said Rodriguez Valle may have suffered damage to the frontal brain lobe which governs impulse control, and also may be suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome from a lifetime of abuse.

On the day of the slaying, Rodriguez Valle had passed out, and when he regained consciousness, he "found himself in (a) compromising situation with the victim," Valdez said.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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