Izak Lucero accepts offer and pleads guilty to second-degree murder just three days into retrial
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Following a shocking mistrial in April, the saga of state prosecutors versus 26-year-old Izak Lucero will come to and end after another sudden turn of events in the retrial.
Just days after opening statements were made from prosecutors and Lucero's defense, the two sides walked away - not with a jury conviction, but a guilty charge nonetheless.
Lucero's signature, agreeing to plead guilty to second-degree murder is all it took to send the jury home.
Friday morning was set for day two in the retrial of the first-degree murder case against Lucero, with each side set up to bring in witnesses and law enforcement to testify. Instead, it got off to a late start and ended with a plea agreement.
Lucero was facing premeditated first-degree murder, along with other charges, following the death of Luis Delgadillo back in August 2020 at the Econo Lodge Motel in Yuma.
After a long process to get Lucero to trial in April of this year, it carried on even longer after the 12-person jury failed to come to a unanimous decision to convict him - resulting in Judge Roger Nelson calling a mistrial.
In the second attempt to prosecute him, the lead prosecutor in the case, Meaghan Gallagher, opened the trial last week with the phrase: "from a handshake to a homicide" - pointing to Lucero and Delgadillo's interactions in the moments before the situation reached a boiling point and shots were fired.
On the other side, "tunnel vision" from law enforcement was the pitch to the jury from Lucero's new attorney, Zach Dumyahn, who pointed to the flaws in law enforcement's investigation, claiming they focused on only Lucero in his opening statement.
In the end, Lucero will still serve time behind bars but ultimately avoids a potential life sentence if he were to have been convicted by the jury.
He will be back in court in November for sentencing - where he will learn how long the term of imprisonment will be.
The range of sentencing goes from a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 25 years.