SAN DIEGO - Two men who pleaded guilty to murder counts for their roles in the slaying of a woman whose body was dumped in Pala near the Riverside County line were sentenced today to state prison terms.
Pablo Victor Valadez, 40, and Jonnie Alexander Isaguirre, 27, were among five people arrested in 2017 for the death of 30-year-old Alexandria Nicole Smith.
The victim was reported missing on Oct. 2, 2017 and her body was discovered 10 days later near the Pala Casino.
Prosecutors allege Smith was suffocated after a party in National City and that the defendants subsequently stole her belongings.
Valadez was sentenced Monday morning to 15 years to life in state prison, while Isaguirre received a 25 year-to-life term.
The men were tried before a San Diego jury along with Amber Leal Suarez, 43. Suarez was convicted of first-degree murder, but the panel could not reach verdicts for Valadez or Isaguirre. The men later pleaded guilty.
Leal and Crystal Lopez Melendez, 38, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, await sentencing next month. A fifth defendant, Maria Yvette Perreira, pleaded guilty to robbery.
At the time of Smith's death, she lived in San Diego with her mother and daughter. Smith's mother reported her missing after she never returned home from the party.
At Monday's sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens read a letter in court written by Smith's mother, Nicole Smith, who wrote, ``There is no reason for them to ever live a life outside of prison. They need to suffer the same losses that I have and more. They need to feel the loneliness and heartache of losing something that is dear and close to them for the remainder of their lives.''
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