By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Convicted killer has last chance denied
Placeholder Image
A man who doused a woman in gasoline and lit her on fire because he thought she had stolen his cocaine had his last chance at a new trial rejected this week as the court found he knew what he was doing when he accepted a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty.The murderer, Ruben Pimentel, 41, had his motion for post-conviction relief rejected by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley, who, seven years ago, sentenced the defendant to life in prison for the murder of Gina Thompson, 35.The plea was a negotiated settlement by which Pimentel skirted a trial which could have ended in him receiving the death penalty. Two co-defendants, halfbrothers Franklin De la Cruz, 38, and Luiz Gomez, 31, are both serving 36-year sentences for being accessories to the murder.Pimentel’s life term comes for setting Thompson on fire at a local trailer park after accusing her of stealing the cocaine they had smuggled here from New York. It was later discovered the cocaine, which had been hidden in the dashboard, had fallen to the bottom of an air duct.