Sentencing delayed in Gilbert killing - East Valley Tribune: News

Sentencing delayed in Gilbert killing

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Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2007 5:11 am | Updated: 8:09 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Sentencing of a 21-year-old man involved in the fatal shooting and robbery of a Chandler man last November in Gilbert has been postponed.

Teens admit to fatal robbery, police say

Cesar Rios was scheduled to hear his punishment on Monday but pending court dates for a co-defendant in the killing pushed back his sentencing. A new date hasn’t been set.

Rios pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Scott Kraft, 26, gunned down Nov. 7, 2006. Rios faces 10 to 22 years in prison.

Kraft walked by Rios and two other teenagers 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 the three robbed him as he lay on the ground, still alive.

Arturo Rodriguez, 17, and Bradley Hughes, 18, were also charged. Hughes pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 8. Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

All three were originally charged with first-degree murder. Police have not said which of the three is believed to have fired the fatal shots.

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

After they were apprehended, the accused admitted to committing the crimes because they needed gas money to drive back to Phoenix, court documents indicate.

Hughes and Rodriguez had served time together in juvenile detention prior to the shooting, court 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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