New information was released Thursday regarding the killing of Anthony Ibarra.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley decided not to pursue the death penalty after considering the underlying facts and factors of the incident.
Santa Maria police arrested the 11th suspect in the case, Ramon Maldonado Jr., on Wednesday night. He is 14 years old and the son and grandson of two men already in custody for Ibarra’s slaying.
Maldonado Jr. will appear with the other 10 suspects on June 6 in a Santa Maria courtroom for arraignment.
The following statement was released by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley: “The Grand Jury handed down indictments against nine defendants for the torture and murder of Anthony Ibarra on March 17 and 18, 2013. The Grand Jury indicted Ramon Maldonado, Reyes Gonzales, Jr., Santos Sauceda, David Maldonado, Robert Sosa, Anthony Solis, Verenisa Aviles, Ramon Maldonado, Jr., and Jason Castillo for murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Ramon Maldonado, Reyes Gonzales, Jr., Santos Sauceda, David Maldonado, Robert Sosa, Anthony Solis, and Jason Castillo were also indicted for the special allegations of lying in wait, torture, kidnap, and for committing the crimes in furtherance of a criminal street gang. In addition, Ramon Maldonado was indicted for witness intimidation with the gang enhancement. Carmen Cardenas and Pedro Torres were also indicted for accessory after the fact to murder with the gang enhancement.
“Ramon Maldonado, Reyes Gonzales, Jr., Santos Sauceda, David Maldonado, Robert Sosa, Anthony Solis, and Jason Castillo all face a possible sentence of life without the possibility of parole if convicted of the charges.
“Ramon Maldonado, Jr. and Verenisa Aviles face a possible sentence of 25 years to life if convicted. Carmen Cardenas faces a maximum sentence of seven years and Pedro Torres faces a maximum sentence of ten years.
“District Attorney Dudley considered the underlying facts and factors of this case in deciding not to seek the death penalty. Those factors included the prior criminal history of the defendants, their ages, and their relationship to Anthony Ibarra. Additionally, she considered the fact that life without the possibility of parole is a significant punishment and that in cases where the death penalty is imposed, it is rarely executed causing the victim’s families to be denied any sense of closure; and, instead be subjected to decades of appeals and mounting frustration.”