Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Two sentenced for the grisly murder of a San Tan Valley teen

Florence, AZ - The Pinal County Superior Court on Friday, May 29, 2010, sentenced Todd Hoke, 18, and Nicolas Castillo, 19, for the murder of a San Tan Valley area teenager who was killed almost three years ago.

The two teenagers plead guilty to killing 17-year-old Amber LeAnn Hess after the three went to the movies on June 22, 2007. Her parents reported her missing two days later after they arrived home from a weekend vacation. Her body was found stabbed and burned on June 25 2007, in a desert area near the Anthem at Merrill Ranch development in Florence.

Hoke, 16, at the time of the crime, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, having pled guilty to first degree murder of Hess.

Castillo, 16, at the time of the crime, was sentenced to 22 years in prison having pled guilty to second-degree murder and an additional 2 years in prison for abandonment or concealment of a body. The two sentences are consecutive.

The court also set restitution hearings in September 2010.

Hoke and Castillo have been in jail since their arrest in 2007.

The teens signed plea agreements in late March and were sentenced by the Honorable Judge Boyd T. Johnson, Pinal County Superior Court.

Pinal County Deputy County Attorneys Sylvia Lafferty and Susan Crawford prosecuted the case for the state.

For more information call Kostas Kalaitzidis at 520 866 6699 or 520 709 1333 or email at Kostas.kalaitzidis@pinalcountyaz.gov