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Man gets 6 years to life in death of clergyman

Man gets 6 years to life in death of clergyman



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HEBER CITY, Utah (AP) -- A man who pleaded guilty in the murder of a popular Roman Catholic deacon was sentenced to six years to life in prison Wednesday.

Cunny Pelaez denies firing the shots that killed Aniceto Armendariz but feels "terrible for all the devastation," defense attorney Scott Williams told a judge.

After a Mass in Park City in 2005, Armendariz, 42, was shot in the head while riding in a pickup truck with his wife, Alma, on U.S. 40 in Wasatch County.

Pelaez, 20, was in a van with his father, Antonio Pelaez-Vasquez, 56. The van crashed, and the suspects were quickly caught.

Wasatch County Attorney Thomas Low said Pelaez participated "because his father asked him to do so."

Low said he will call Pelaez to testify at his father's trial, The Salt Lake Tribune reported on its Web site.

Low speculated that Armendariz, a Mexican immigrant who had permanent-resident status in the U.S., was killed because of his success and social standing.

His wife, Alma Armendariz, said Pelaez attended her husband's driving school and called him "maestro," a Latino term of respect.

------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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