Perea to appeal homicide conviction

Feb 5 2013 - 12:29am



SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on Riqo Perea's appeal of his double homicide conviction for a 5-year-old gang-related shooting.

Perea is serving a sentence of life in prison without parole, plus six months, in the August 2007 shooting at a wedding party that killed two and left two wounded. Perea was reacting to insults from a rival gang when he opened fire, according to testimony.

In May 2010, he was sentenced to the no-parole life term. Prosecutors had the extra six months tacked on in the event of any success by the expected appeal.

The high court will hear arguments at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Matheson Courthouse, 450 S. State, Salt Lake City.

The appeal includes claims that the trial judge erred in letting jurors hear of Perea's confession, and in keeping out a defense expert on false confessions as well as an animated video depicting alternative shooters. The appeal also claims the life without parole sentence is unconstitutional.


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