Jury gives man 22-year prison sentence for 2013 drug-related killing

File: Ricardo Macias sits in the courtroom on March 24, 2017.

Jury gives man 22-year prison sentence for 2013 drug-related killing

EL PASO, Texas -- Ricardo Macias will spend the next 22 years in prison for his role in the 2013 drug-related killing of Jose Castanon.

Macias was found guilty Wednesday of manslaughter and aggravated robbery. He was found not guilty on a murder charge.

The jury gave Macias a sentence of 22 years in prison for the aggravated robbery charge and 10 years of probation for manslaughter.

Officials said Macias worked with Sonia Bautista and Briana Garay to kill Castanon over a dispute involving Ecstasy pills.

Macias’ lawyer, Theresa Caballero, said the sentence was three years less than what was recommended.

Caballero said that even though she’s relieved with the jury’s decision, it is still hard for the family.

“Ricardo’s going to go to prison. He has a child on the way. He has a 3-year-old,” Caballero said. “The statistics show that children who have parents in prison have a much higher possibility of going to prison themselves. It’s just a very impoverishing outcome. Generations pay for this.”

The state prosecutor, James Montoya, worked on Bautista’s case in 2015. The jury found her guilty of murder and she is serving a 48-year sentence.

Montoya said he’s not sure why that jury gave her so much more time than what this jury gave Macias.

“They found Ms. Bautista guilty of murder, which is what we had also asked the jury to convict Mr. Macias of,” Montoya said. “They gave Ms. Bautista – that jury gave a sentence of 48 years.”

There is one more co-defendant involved in the killing whose case is pending. Garay’s trial is set to begin in July.

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