A member of the Sacaton Gang was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder earlier this year in the Federal Court in Phoenix.
George Alonzo Renteria,30, a member of the Gila River Indian Community, was also sentenced to a consecutive 10-year sentence for committing murder with a firearm. Defense attorney David Eisenberg said that life in prison is too harsh due to Renteria’s mental state, noting, ” it strikes me as overkill.”
Eisenberg requested psychiatric evaluation and counseling for Renteria. U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow granted this request, stating, ” I can recommend that an assessment is done to see if psychotropic medication would be helpful for a safe and better life under his circumstance.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine D. Keller and William G. Voit, District of Arizona, Phoenix served as protectors. Voit noted that the victims’ sister was not present for the sentencing but that her statement during the trial was sincere, adding, “she went through depression and dropped out of school due to losing her brother.” The prosecutors reminded the court that the victim was a kind and well-liked member of the community.
Snow acknowledged the seriousness of the offense during the sentencing adding, “I must consider the nature of the offense, and I don’t know if there is anything more serious than murdering somebody.”
The incident occurred on Feb. 17, 2014, when Renteria shot and killed another member of the Gila River Indian Community. Renteria encountered the victim in Chandler and convinced him to get in the vehicle. Renteria then drove the victim to a deserted field in the Gila River Indian community and shot him with a handgun.
Renteria was previously convicted of the first-degree murder charge at a jury trial. In the hours leading to the murder Renteria had committed vehicle theft and an armed home robbery. Additionally, Renteria was on federal supervised release for a prior robbery conviction during the time of the murder. Void made a statement before the sentencing, saying, “You are a dangerous person if you are released from prison and then committed another offense.” Due to Renteria’s previous charges, the judge noted the fact that Renteria has spent much of his life in prison, and ” didn’t have much of a life.”
Eisenberg requested that Renteria is to be housed in Arizona but noted that may not be possible due to the lack of psychiatric care within the state’s prison. He added that placement and counselling are extremely important. “The issue of housing has been left up to the Bureau of prisons with these requests under consideration.”