Post by SoulTrainOz on Jul 27, 2006 6:48:35 GMT -5
Luna pleads 'not guilty' to murder charges
21-year-old Odessan had previously admitted shootings
Despite previously admitting shooting his pregnant common-law wife and her mother, a 21-year-old Odessa man pleaded "not guilty" Tuesday to 2 charges of capital murder.
Leo Angel Luna pleaded "not guilty" before Judge Stacy Trotter in the Dec. 28, 2005, shooting deaths of Diana Ponce and her mother, Blanca Ponce.
In January, Luna told the Odessa American that he'd shot his wife and mother-in-law but that it was an accident. Luna said his intended target was William Ponce, Diana's brother. He was shot in the face.
Leo Luna's sister, Lisa, said Tuesday that she's not sure what sparked the shootings.
"I think the devil got in his ass," she said. "I don't know what was going through that boy's head. It was something that should have never happened." Repeated efforts to reach members of the Ponce family were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, District Attorney Bobby Bland said the plea was "expected - this is a normal part of the process. It's almost a formality."
Woody Leverett, of Midland, was appointed co-defense counselor joining Odessa attorney David Zavoda in representing Luna.
"I'm hoping to help him as best I can," Leverett said.
State law equires 2 defense attorneys in a capital murder case
"Because we are seeking the death penalty, they have to do everything to defend," Bland said.
Zavoda declined to comment Tuesday.
Trotter told Leo Luna during Tuesday's arraignment, "You have 2 of the finest criminal attorneys, so I suggest that you cooperate and work with them."
A trial date has not yet been set.
Lisa Luna said she believes Leo Luna Jr., who was 3 at the time of the shootings, is staying with Diana Ponce's relatives.
She said she didn't know the condition of Diana's brother, William Ponce.