BLOUNT COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) –A Blount County man has been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of his mother and father.
On March 16, 2020, Leo Santiago Chavez was convicted of three counts of capital murder for the deaths of Adalberta Chavez Ruis and Ricardo Santiago Gonzalez. Chavez was also convicted of theft of property and two counts of abuse of a corpse.
During the sentencing hearing, Prosecutors Pamela L. Casey and Scott Gilliland asked the Court to sentence Chavez to life without the possibility of parole do to the nature and circumstances of the offense and the defendant’s role in planning and orchestrating the murder of his parents. Chavez was not eligible to receive the death penalty due to his age at the time of the offense.
Just before the sentence was pronounced, Chavez apologized to family members who were present in the courtroom and asked for their forgiveness. He then advised the Court that he took his case to trial because the offers he received from the State were “too much.”
Several members of the family of Adalberta Chavez Ruis and Ricardo Santiago Gonzalez were present in the courtroom when the sentence was imposed, officials say.
Casey said, “This family has been through a lot. They spent weeks walking through the woods and along roadways trying to locate their loved ones. They assisted with the investigation of this case and have been present for every hearing, including a week long trial, to show their love and support for the memory of Adalberta and Ricardo. It is very rewarding to work with such families to obtain justice for their lost loved ones.” Casey went on to say, “Some of the family members expressed disappointment that Leo may get a chance to walk out of prison one day. But, overall, they have continuously expressed their gratitude for the work of the Blount County Sheriff’s Office and my office.”
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