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Judge sentences Greeley man to life in prison for 2016 murder

Posted on 01/02/2019
Marcello Rodriquez MugshotGREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Greeley man will spend the rest of his life in the Colorado Department of Corrections after he was convicted of Murder in the First Degree last month.

In December, a jury found 21-year-old Marcello Rodriquez guilty of killing 26-year-old Paul Ortiz, also of Greeley, in the front yard of Rodriquez’s home in the early morning hours of July 16, 2016.

Originally, Rodriquez pleaded guilty to the murder. However, he withdrew his guilty plea last June and told the jury last month that fellow gang member and cousin, Refugio Ramos, was in fact the one who killed Ortiz.

Rodriquez testified during his trial and told the jury that Ramos ordered he take the blame because he’d only get 10 years in prison. However, when he learned he’d get life in prison, he changed his story.

“This case and the toll that it has taken on this victim’s family the past two-and-a-half years has been immense,” Weld Chief Deputy District Attorney Anthea Carrasco said Wednesday morning during the sentencing hearing. “We’ve reached the best possible resolution in this case, yet the victim’s family still feels empty because they’ll never get Paul back.”

Wednesday morning, a Weld District Court judge handed down a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Chief Deputy District Attorneys Anthea Carrasco and Michael Pirraglia prosecuted this case.