Man sentenced to natural life for business associate’s death

December 15, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) — A man convicted of killing a business associate has been sentenced to natural life for first-degree murder plus an additional 14 years in prison for other crimes.

The sentencing Friday of 42-year-old Juan Luis Zermeno by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Reinstein follows Zermeno’s Oct. 17 jury convictions in for first-degree murder, burglary and trafficking in stolen property.

Zermeno was a business associate of 38-year-old Jesus Cortez, who was found dead in his home on Dec. 14, 2014 with more than 100 stab wounds.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says the sentencing holds Zermeno for what Montgomery termed “his senseless and unjustifiable acts.”

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