UPDATE: Jaimes-Martinez pleads with judge during sentencing - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Jaimes-Martinez pleads with judge during sentencing

KTIV file photo KTIV file photo
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - A Sioux City man convicted last year in the shooting death of his neighbor, could spend the next thirty-years in prison, but he could also be out in less than two years.

"Facing a 1st degree murder charge, last November, a Sioux City jury found Fernando Jaimes-Martinez guilty of the lesser charge of Voluntary Manslaughter and Intimidation with a dangerous weapon.  He earlier pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon.  Each charge carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

"Yes, I had a criminal record but when I began living with my wife, I changed,” Jaimes-Martinez told the Honorable Jeffrey Poulson.

Facing a maximum 45-year prison sentence, Jaimes-Martinez pleaded with Poulson to allow him to serve his sentences at the same time.  However, the Assistant Woodbury County Attorney urged the judge to keep Jaimes-Martinez behind bars as long as possible.

"This defendant has a continuous history of involvement in the criminal justice system.  The defendant is a habitual offender.  This defendant will remain a danger to the community for years to come,” Mark Campbell pointed out.

Jaimes-Martinez expressed remorse over the death of Karla Gonzalez, who he shot while she stood in a crowd of people arguing on his front porch.

"I didn't want to harm anyone.  I just wanted them to leave.  I was sleeping and I just went outside and I saw that they were going to come into my house,” said Jaimes-Martinez.

"The court views the voluntary manslaughter and the intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent charges, as essentially the same conduct,” said Poulson.

For that reason, Judge Poulson agreed to allow Jaimes-Martinez to serve those sentences concurrently, or at the same time. He was also sentenced to 15-years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, for a maximum of up to 30-years behind bars.

However, it's up to the parole board to decide how much of that 30-year sentence, Jaimes-Martinez actually serves. Because of Iowa's good-time law, he could actually be out in a year-and-a-half, according to Campbell.  At that point, Jaimes-Martinez would be subjected to deportation. 

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