Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Judge declines to change murder sentence

Elgee rejects motion for leniency in Tellez case

Express Staff Writer

Freddy Tellez

Fifth District Court Judge Robert J. Elgee declined Monday to change the prison sentence of confessed murderer Freddy Tellez.

A motion for leniency for 18-year-old Tellez was rejected following a short court hearing in Hailey. Public defender Douglas Werth filed the motion under an Idaho criminal rule that allows a judge to reconsider an earlier sentencing.

Elgee sentenced Tellez in August to 24 years to life in prison after Tellez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing his former girlfriend, 16-year-old Margarita Guardado, in front of her home in the Woodside area of Hailey on Aug. 17, 2007. Police records state that Tellez hit Guardado in the head four times with a hammer, poured a flammable liquid on her body and lit her on fire.

Elgee denied Werth's requests to reduce the fixed 24-year sentence and to place Tellez in a juvenile correctional facility until age 21.

Werth said Tuesday that he filed the motion for Tellez "because of his age and minimal criminal history and the fact that he could get better treatment at a juvenile facility."

Tellez is serving his sentence at the Idaho state penitentiary in Boise. According to the Department of Correction, he will be eligible for parole in 2031.

Terry Smith:

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