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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Man gets 4 life sentences in deaths

FORT WAYNE – A Mexican national sentenced last month to life in prison for the abduction and slaying of a 10-year-old neighbor girl had four more life sentences added on Monday for killing his family. All five sentences are without the possibility of parole.\nSimon Rios, 35, pleaded guilty in August to four counts of murder and two counts of moving a body from the scene of a violent or suspicious death in the beating and strangulation death of his wife, Ana Casas-Rios, 28, and the strangling deaths of their three daughters, Liliana, 10, Katherinne, 4, and 20-month-old Thannya.\nThey were killed Dec. 13, 2005, in their Fort Wayne home.\nDuring an emotional sentencing hearing Monday in which Rios, defense attorney Michelle Kraus and Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards all shed tears, Superior Judge Fran Gull accepted the plea agreement that allowed Rios to avoid facing the death penalty.\nBefore agreeing to a plea, defense attorneys had been seeking to have Rios declared mentally retarded, which would have made him ineligible for the death penalty or a life sentence.\nHe pleaded guilty after a forensic psychologist testified that Rios was not mentally retarded and therefore competent to enter a plea.\nCasas-Rios’ family members, including her mother, traveled from Mexico to attend the hearing. They said they did not want to see Rios put to death. Marcos Casas, Rios’s brother-in-law, told the court that his family had forgiven Rios but was not sure God would.\nRios told Gull he came to the United States to fulfill his dreams, “but I allowed the forces of evil to take over and I’ll always regret it.”\nHe did not say why he had killed his family.

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