The household’s excruciating emotional ache remains to be there. And that’s actually comprehensible.
“Three youngsters noticed their father die … ,” Janeth Cruz – the sister of Bowling Inexperienced homicide sufferer Jose Cruz – mentioned final week in U.S. District Court docket at Bowling Inexperienced. “I preserve serious about that video and (convicted killer Jonny Reyes-Martinez) stepping over my brother on the bottom like his life meant nothing to him.”
The saga started in March 2017 when, simply as La Placita market on Morgantown Street was being robbed, Jose Cruz occurred to drive into the parking zone. He had stopped on the retailer to choose up his son from his ex-wife, who was working inside.
When Jose Cruz didn’t see his son come out instantly, he obtained out of his automobile, the place his different youngsters have been seated, and walked to the entrance door of the enterprise. There, he grew to become concerned in a wrestle whereas attempting to cease the robbers and was shot.
Cruz was taken to an space hospital, the place he died.
The Day by day Information’ Justin Story has lined a lot of the case, and final week – greater than 4 years after Jose Cruz’s demise – it lastly got here to a conclusion in courtroom as the person recognized because the chief of a crew that dedicated a number of robberies, together with the one at La Placita, was sentenced to almost 40 years in jail. Jorge Caballero-Melgar of Nashville was sentenced in U.S. District Court docket for homicide by means of use of a firearm throughout a criminal offense of violence, interference with commerce by theft, conspiracy to intrude with commerce by theft, conspiracy to hold or possess a firearm throughout a criminal offense of violence and unlawful reentry after deportation.
Reyes-Martinez, who admitted capturing and killing Jose Cruz, was ordered to spend practically 22 years in jail. Others concerned within the La Placita theft – Jose Adan Mejia Varela, Lilian Duron and Estrellita Soto – pleaded responsible to lesser prices and in addition obtained jail sentences.
We definitely commend native, state and federal officers for his or her prolonged investigative and prosecutorial efforts on this case, which began in state courtroom however was moved to federal courtroom as soon as investigators found a wider scheme through which a gaggle of Nashville residents robbed companies in 4 states. The investigators’ and prosecutors’ work was then stymied partially by the COVID-19 pandemic, which slowed courtroom proceedings and prompted sudden delays, ensuing within the normally lengthy interval between the crime and last sentencing.
However the prison case is certainly over, and the Cruz household can now actually start to choose up the items of their shattered lives, by no means forgetting their beloved one however shifting ahead with new desires and objectives.
Jose Cruz’s niece, Emily Nunez, remembered her uncle eventually week’s courtroom listening to.
“He’s the kind of one who was very charismatic, he was an excellent group member who beloved his household. He had a phenomenal relationship with my mom and grandmother,” she mentioned.
For many who minimize brief Jose Cruz’s life and shattered his household, prolonged jail phrases are in retailer and are a lot deserved. It’s comforting for all – the household and the broader group – to know these criminals won’t be free anytime quickly.
And as Reyes-Martinez obtained his sentence and as he started to serve a few years in jail, the phrases from Jose Cruz’s sister might echo in his thoughts.
On the finish of her remarks in courtroom, Janeth Cruz addressed Reyes-Martinez in Spanish, saying “You’re a coward and I hope you rot in jail.”
“Our Opinion” items within the Bowling Inexperienced Day by day Information solely characterize the bulk opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board and don’t essentially mirror the viewpoints or beliefs of another Day by day Information workers.