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First Sentence Handed-Down In Two-Year-Old Pittsburg Murder Case - KOAM TV 7

First Sentence Handed-Down In Two-Year-Old Pittsburg Murder Case

Updated:
Juan Salas-Rueda Juan Salas-Rueda
Corbin Spragg Corbin Spragg
Tyler Smith Tyler Smith
Darius Rainey Darius Rainey
Bryan Bridges Bryan Bridges
CRAWFORD COUNTY, KANSAS -

A man is sentenced to prison for his role in a two-year-old Pittsburg murder case.  Police say Juan Salas-Rueda, and four other people, were involved in the robbery-turned-murder that happened in October of 2014.

Salas-Rueda was sentenced to 61 months in prison for his role in the death of Taylor Thomas.  But Salas-Rueda wasn't charged with murder.  Prosecutors say he took part in the events that lead to murder.

The victim was Thomas, but prosecutors say Thomas' roommate was the target.  Prosecutors say the suspects were after marijuana and/or drug money.  Crawford County Attorney Michael Gayoso says Salas-Rueda provided weapons to the other people who were involved in this case.

Salas-Rueda, in addition to serving time in prison, is expected to be deported to Mexico once he serves the prison time.  Gayoso says it was important Salas-Rueda received that prison time.

"He has to be held accountable for the crime that he has been convicted of, just having him shipped off to his home country of Mexico...  There is actually a treaty that he could make himself available to, if he wants, with the United States, that he would serve that American sentence in Mexico," says Gayoso.

"We have an individual who was convicted of a violent crime by providing the weapons that were used that resulted in the death of Taylor Thomas, and having him go back home to his relatives who are still in Mexico, without him serving his underlying sentence here, in my opinion is not justice," says Gayoso.

Other people part of this case

Prosecutors say Corbin Spragg, Tyler Smith, Darius Rainey, and Bryan Bridges were also involved in this case.  These four are either waiting for trial or sentencing.  

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