A Turlock man is facing a lengthy prison term for his role in an Illinois home invasion, in which his partner was shot and killed by the homeowner.
Marcus E. Samarripa, 25, of Turlock pled guilty on Friday in LaSalle County Circuit Court in Illinois to first-degree murder for the death of Raymond Maldonado, 22, of Turlock.
Maldonado was killed Feb. 19, 2012, during a home invasion robbery in Earlville, Ill. Samarripa never actually shot Maldonado, but because the death occurred during the commission of a felony, Samarripa was held responsible for the fatality.
According to the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department, Samarripa and Maldonado broke into the home of Jose Contreras, 49. Contreras told the investigators he heard a car outside and saw a blue Honda pulling into the drive-way. He thought the car was making a U-turn, so he went back to bed. Moments later he heard a window break in his home and grabbed a handgun.
Contreras, who was sleeping in the basement, confronted two men at the top of the stairs and fired his gun twice, striking Maldonado both times. The second intruder fled the scene, the sheriff’s department reported.
At the home, investigators found more than 40 marijuana plants. Contreras was later convicted on drug charges and is facing deportation after his sentence, according to the LaSalle News Tribune.
A description of Samarripa and the vehicle he fled in was issued to law enforcement in the area and he was apprehended a short time after the shooting.
As part of Samarripa’s plea deal, charges of home invasion and burglary were dropped. The prosecution is recommending a 30 year prison sentence for Samarripa, as part of the plea deal, but the actual sentence will be determined by the judge. He could get as much as 60 years or a minimum of 20 years based on Illinois’ sentencing guidelines. Sentencing is set for Oct. 25.