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Tacoma man whose first conviction was overturned pleads guilty to reduced murder charge

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on May 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm with No Comments »
May 20, 2013 4:46 pm

A Tacoma man whose previous conviction in a fatal carjacking was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals pleaded guilty Monday a reduced charge.

Santana Ocampo pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Pierce County Superior Court and faces a standard range sentence of 12 years, three months to 20 years, four months in prison, deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen said.
Ocampo, 26, is to be sentenced June 21.

He originally was convicted by jury of first-degree murder in 2004 in the Aug. 10, 2003 shooting death of Julio Morales-Castro and sentenced to 30 years.

Prosecutors contended Ocampo, 17 at the time, and an accomplice shot Morales-Castro, 25, while trying to steal his car.

In a 2011 ruling, a federal appeals panel ruled Ocampo did not get a fair trial because detectives were allowed to testify improperly about what a witness had said, violating Ocampo’s constitutional right to confront him or her, the appeals court ruled.

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