Teen sentenced in Gilbert murder - East Valley Tribune: News

Teen sentenced in Gilbert murder

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Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008 1:10 pm | Updated: 9:59 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A 19-year-old man involved in the 2006 murder and robbery of a man in Gilbert was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.

Bradley Hughes of Chandler waived a trial and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in September in the death of Chandler resident Scott Kraft, 26, who was gunned down Nov. 7, 2006.

Sentencing for Hughes was delayed several times because of pending court dates for co-defendants in the case.

Arturo Rodriguez, 18, and Cesar Rios, 21, were also charged in the murder.

Kraft walked past the three men as they were robbing a 15-year-old boy near Cancun Drive and Warner Road, court records show.

Kraft was shot twice in the back while he tried to run away, and was robbed as he lay on the ground, still alive.

It took police more than a week to arrest the trio after the shooting, a crime that shook Gilbert residents in the usually quiet area.

After they were caught, the men admitted to committing the crimes because they needed gas money to drive back to Phoenix, court records show.

Prosecutors first charged the three men with first-degree murder, and they pleaded not guilty.

However, the men all reversed their pleas after accepting deals from prosecutors.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in January and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Rios pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in September and was to be sentenced Feb. 7.

However, it’s unknown what punishment he was given. The court has sealed documents involving Rios’ case.

Records show that he filed a notice to appeal the court’s decision the same day of his scheduled sentence.

It’s also not clear who shot Kraft because the court hasn’t released several documents that reveal that information.

However, Rodriguez did admit to police after his arrest that he fired a round to scare the 15-year-old, records show.

And Hughes told officers that Rodriguez shot Kraft.

Hughes and Rodriguez had served time together in juvenile detention prior to the shooting, records show. Rodriguez was released the day before Kraft was killed, and Hughes was released one month earlier.

Rodriguez had been found delinquent — the juvenile equivalent of a conviction — of misdemeanor counts of criminal damage, shoplifting and marijuana possession, according to court records.

Rodriguez entered the juvenile justice system in June 2005 but continued to commit crimes and use drugs.

Hughes had his first brush with the law when he was 11, when he ran over a neighbor after crashing a car through a wall on a joyride.

Rios did not have a criminal record in Maricopa County before Kraft was killed.

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