I’m a little disheartened with the plea deals being given to the young men involved in the Mt. Leo murder. One year in jail and nine years on probation doesn’t seem like enough time behind bars to me after a life was taken so violently.
While their individual actions on the night are being considered in offering the deals, I point to their inaction as to why I think more than a year behind bars is necessary and nine years probation isn’t necessary. If one of the young men had urged their friends not to go through with this, maybe everyone would have reconsidered. Just one voice of reason might have saved Oswaldo Luna’s life.
Yet, there didn’t appear to be any. No one backed out or left before the murder occurred. Some are claiming they never went onto the property. That might be true, but you knew what you were there for – to rob a man. That’s enough for me.
Their motivation seems to be drug-related which leads me to believe they were all participating in drug use. Are we going to address that with probation? If not, I’m sure neither of the young men will make it nine years without violating. Maybe that’s the plan: one violation and they could face serving in jail what remains of their probation.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the gang gets for the roles they played in this situation. I know the legality: innocent until proven guilty. Since everyone seems to have confessed their role, I think we can dispense with that formality.
Yes, I’m calling them a gang. I’m unaware if there are a certain number of people required to be considered a gang. However, they planned a robbery together and they carried it out. That sounds like gang-related activity.
I didn’t know Luna personally. I have no idea what kind of person he was but I would hazard to guess he didn’t deserve what he got, which was to be shot while he slept. Sleeping isn’t a crime.
My only hope is these young men will take this chance they have been given and change the direction of their lives. Take a long, hard look at the choices they have made, how this could have turned out for them and be determined to do better. Maybe, somehow, make amends for the life they took by doing something meaningful with their own. Give back to the community in which they live and maybe, volunteer their time in the community they committed their crime in – above and beyond any community service.
Not everyone gets a second chance. Case in point, Oswaldo Luna didn’t. He was 43 years old. I think it would be accurate to say he had a lot of life left. Sadly, he won’t get the chance to do something with the rest of it. That option is now gone.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.