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Tucson, Arizona man receives life sentence for massacring victim in Gila River Indian Community

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Tucson, Arizona man receives life sentence for massacring victim in Gila River Indian Community

2010-10-06 00:34:21 GMT+7 (ICT)

PHOENIX, ARIZONA (BNO NEWS) -- An Arizona man was found guilty for a brutal murder he committed in an Indian community, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Eugene Joseph Escalanti, 34, of Tucson, Arizona and an enrolled member of the Quechan Indian Tribe, on July 19, 2009, tied and massacred a man to death in a remote area of the Gila River Indian Community.

Escalanti was negotiating the sale of a recreational vehicle with the victim when he began assaulting the victim with a pair of pruning shears. He then bound the victim’s hands together and directed a witness to drive them to the remote area. Once in the reservation, Escalanti beat the victim with a wrench and slit his throat, killing him.

“This was a senseless and brutal act of violence,†said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “Marshaling the evidence necessary to convict this defendant took an extraordinary amount of time, effort and old-fashioned police work on the part of law enforcement.â€

Escalanti was found guilty by a federal jury on June 25 of First Degree Murder, Kidnapping and First Degree Murder/Felony Murder. On Monday, Escalanti was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton to three concurrent life sentences in a federal prison.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2010-10-06

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