A man who has been tried three times in the near-beheading deaths of his young relatives will not face a fourth trial.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein’s office Tuesday said it will not prosecute Policarpio Espinoza Perez again on murder charges. Espinoza Perez was sentenced last month to life in prison on conspiracy charges.
“Given that we secured the sentence we sought, and that the defendant deserved, we will not file further charges,” said Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for Bernstein.
A Baltimore City Circuit Court jury convicted Espinoza Perez, 31, in March of three counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the deaths of the children, who were between 8 and 10 years old. The jury, however, cleared him of second-degree murder charges, and Judge M. Brooke Murdock earlier declared a mistrial on a first-degree murder charge.
Espinoza Perez’s nephew, Adan Espinoza Canela, has also been accused of participating in the grisly killings. He is slated to go to trial on May 28, according to a court official.
A jury was unable reach a verdict after the first trial in 2005 of Espinoza Perez and Canela. As a result, the judge declared a mistrial.
The two were convicted and sentenced to life in prison after a second trial in 2006. That conviction, however, was overturned when an appellate court held that the judge failed to disclose several jury notes that could have impacted the verdict.
Espinoza Perez and Canela were accused of killing of Lucero Espinoza, 8, her brother Ricardo Espinoza, 9, and their cousin, Alexis Espejo Quezada, 10, in 2004.