Omar Guerro, also known as Martin Armento Verduzco Lopez and Irving Martin Verduzco Armento, was sentenced on Tuesday, June 11, for the murder of Moab resident Edgar L. Najera, who was known by the nickname Rojo, and for the kidnapping of Jorge Hernandez-Ayala.
Seventh District Court Judicial Assistant Shalece Shumway said Guerro was ordered to serve 32 years to life in prison and pay $3,400 in restitution.
A Grand County Jury convicted Guerro of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony and “restricted person in possession of firearm,” a second-degree felony.
On the murder charge, Guerro received a sentence of 16 years to life in prison, to run consecutive to a sentence of 16 years to life on the aggravated kidnapping charge, for a total of 32 years to life. He was ordered to serve one to 15 years on the second-degree felony of restricted person in possession of firearm.
He will be conveyed to the Utah State Prison to serve his term.
Guerro was convicted in court in Moab on Friday, May 31.
Authorities found Najera, 30, dead inside his Walnut Lane trailer on Oct. 28 after suffering two gunshot wounds. Guerro remained at large until Oct. 30, when the Navajo Nation Police Department’s Tuba City and Kayenta districts and the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Division apprehended him in northern Arizona after a 100-mile pursuit.
The restitution payment was ordered for a vehicle that was totaled in the pursuit.
Guerro, who had fled Moab after the murder with two men, identified as Hernandez-Ayala and Jaime Flores-Solis, exited the vehicle and ran. Guerro testified he and the other men had been using large amounts of methamphetamine.
Guerro denied responsibility for the murder and said he ran from authorities because he feared deportation, not because he committed the murder.
During the trial, witnesses who identified the suspect as Omar Guerro said Najera was shot in the forehead. Prosecutors said the evidence collected by authorities investigating Najera’s death corroborated witness statements and testimony made during the four-day trial from May 28-31.
This story was updated on June 12 to include the name of the kidnapping victim.