By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
The last of four suspects in a carjacking which took place in January 2010 had his sentence set Friday in Seward County District Court.
District Judge Clint Peterson sentenced Matthew Perez, 28, to a total of 149 months – or about 12 and a half years – for his role in the incident in which a handicapped victim was forced out of his vehicle without his wheelchair and had to crawl for help.
County prosecutor Russell Hasenbank had recommended 138 months, but Peterson chose to increase the stint. Perez will serve consecutive terms of 136 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections for one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and 13 months for one count of aggravated assault. The defendant, as of Friday, had served 458 days, or about 15 months of the sentence, which began March 2, 2010.
Perez’s co-defendants had received their sentences prior to Friday.
Jose Gil, 26, was convicted by a jury in November 2010 of one count each of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to 281 months in the Seward County Jail.
On Jan. 28, Juan Garza, 26, was sentenced to 88 months for one count of kidnapping and 59 months for one count of aggravated robbery. In April, Bobby Stensland, 19, was sentenced to 308 months in the KDOC with 247 of those for one count of kidnapping and the other 61 for one count of aggravated robbery.
Perez, Garza and Stensland each had the time determined after entering into plea agreements. Stensland, however, had his case heard in November 2010. At that time, a mistrial was declared when jurors could not agree on some of the charges. The trial was put on the docket again for February, but Stensland instead opted for a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to each of the charges he was sentenced for.
The four suspects were arrested between Jan. 29, 2010, and March 1, 2010, by authorities in Ford and Finney counties, according to a statement from Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg.
These arrests came following the alleged Jan. 10, 2010, incident in which a handicapped victim was forced out of his vehicle without his wheelchair and had to crawl for help.
The victim’s Blazer was later recovered in Finney County.