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Latino Daily News

Tuesday October 23, 2012

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Convicted of Dragging AZ Student with Car During Robbery

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Convicted of Dragging AZ Student with Car During Robbery

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Jose Luis Marquez has been convicted of murdering a college student when he dragged her behind his vehicle during an attempted robbery, according to an Arizona jury.

Marquez, 22, was convicted in a Tempe courtroom of first-degree murder and robbery in the death of Kyleigh Sousa, a 21-year-old college student.

On May 26, 2010, Marquez attempted to steal Sousa’s purse outside an IHOP restaurant but her arms became tangled in the purse’s straps. With her arms trapped, Sousa was unable to flee. Marquez drove away in a rented Dodge Charger and dragged Sousa along the asphalt for about 30 feet before her arms were freed.

Sousa was put on life support until her family could fly in from New Jersey. She died from her severe injuries, which included head trauma.

Sousa was a student at Arizona State University who had transferred from Hawaii Pacific University. Her family describes her as generous and kind.

Marquez was arrested 6 months after the incident and the case went to trial after prosecutors rejected a plea deal from Marquez’s lawyer.

He now faces a possible sentence of “natural death in prison for causing a person’s death while committing of fleeing a felony offense.” In August, the Arizona law was amended to eliminate the possibility of early release.

He faces sentencing on December 14.

Since her death, Sousa’s family has set up the Kyleigh Sousa Foundation, which serves to help families of crime victims.