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Man guilty of manslaughter in drug-linked S.L. shootings

SHARE Man guilty of manslaughter in drug-linked S.L. shootings

A man charged with capital murder in Salt Lake City's first drug-related triple homicide pleaded guilty Wednesday to reduced charges.

Alfredo Sebastion, 27, was originally charged with three counts of capital murder, which carries the death penalty, for his role in the shooting deaths of three men on June 19, 1995.Police said Sebastion and Louis Cruz, 21, held Jorge Cruz, Roman N. Lojik and Cesar D. Rivera at gunpoint in a dilapidated duplex at 242 W. North Temple while looking for two missing friends. At one point, Sebastion and Lojik began to argue and Sebastion struck Lojik while holding the gun, which discharged.

Cruz then fired without warning on the other two men, prosecutors said.

Sebastion pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by prison terms of one to 15 years. As part of the plea bargain, Salt Lake deputy district attorney Paul Parker will recommend Sebastion serve one of the terms concurrent with the other two.

"We agreed to this deal because of credibility problems with the witnesses," he said. "All of them are drug addicts, and the stories get mixed."

Sebastion's defense attorney, Ed Brass, also noted that ballistics evidence may suggest Sebastion alone did not fire at Lojik. Louis Cruz admitted after the shooting that he fired at Rivera and Jorge Cruz; his girlfriend claims the man also fired a shot at Lojik.

Louis Cruz, who also was charged with capital murder, is expected to plead guilty next month to two counts of murder, a first-degree felony.

Sebastion has no criminal record but is an illegal immigrant, said defense attorney Patrick Anderson.