Man gets life in prison for student's dragging death - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Man gets life in prison for student's dragging death

Joseluis Marquez Joseluis Marquez
Kyleigh Sousa Kyleigh Sousa
Joseluis Marquez Joseluis Marquez

Joseluis Marquez was sentenced to life in prison with parole on Friday for his murder conviction in the 2010 death of an Arizona State University student who was dragged by a car during a robbery.

Marquez was convicted of first-degree murder and robbery earlier this year in the death of 21-year-old Kyleigh Sousa.

Sousa's family asked the judge for Marquez to receive life in prison without parole, but only got their wish partially fulfilled. Marquez was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

One after another, before the sentencing, Kyleigh Sousa's family told a judge how much she meant to them.

"My sister, my best friend, my peace of mind were stolen from me by Joseluis Marquez," said Michael Sousa.

They told a judge that they suffer every day without her.

"She died like an animal in the roadway in the parking lot of an IHOP restaurant without any family members by her side," said Kyleigh's mom, Karen Montenegro.

"You can't provide the death penalty however you can provide the alternative to allow him to rot in prison until it's his time to rot in hell," says Nick Montenegro, Kyleigh's stepdad.

"A life is a life, why should somebody who committed an act and take another life be entitled to live one after it? You know it's disappointing," said Bernie Sousa, brother of Kyleigh.

Sousa was outside a Tempe restaurant on May 26, 2010, when a man grabbed her purse, jumped into a rental car and took off.

She became entangled in her purse strap and was dragged about 30 feet before she fell to the asphalt and suffered severe injuries.

Sousa was kept on life support until her family arrived from the Toms River area of New Jersey.

Police say a witness identified Marquez as the driver. But Marquez's mom still thinks her son is innocent.

"My son is a loving caring person, he would never hurt nobody, he would give anything, he would take the shirt off his back for somebody," she said.

Marquez chose not to address court or apologize.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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