An application seeking to reduce the sentence of a former Del Rioan, who received 60 years in a Texas Department of Corrections facility, has revived a murder case tried in Del Rio in 2012.
An attorney representing Tandra Lee Legare, 36, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Rogelio Sotelo, 55, before Sixth Administrative Judicial Region Judge Stephen Ables, recently filed an application for a court order seeking relief from the criminal conviction, court documents state.
Legare, who is represented by attorney Michael Gross, of San Antonio, held a status hearing before Judge Ables in Del Rio on Aug. 26, court documents show.
Legare, 36, was sentenced on April 3, 2012. The murder was committed in 2008.
She was being held at a Texas corrections facility in Marlin, Texas, and was recently transferred to the Val Verde County GEO corrections facility, jail records show.
Legare was tried and pleaded guilty to the murder of Sotelo.
Sotelo was found on Jan. 26, 2008, severely beaten on a dirt road in the city’s east side.
Sotelo was taken to the emergency room and transferred to San Antonio where he died nine days later.
Legare and her boyfriend, Jonathan Matthew Richter, were arrested on Feb. 8, 2008 and charged with capital murder. Richter, 39, pleaded guilty to a murder charge. He was tried in Kerrville before Judge Ables in 2013, nearly a year after Legare was sentenced.
Legare and Richter were tried separately. Both of them avoided the possibility of facing death penalty by taking the plea agreement to the lesser charge of murder.
Legare’s application for the sentence reduction cites the defendant’s and Richter’s right to a due process as guaranteed in the 14th Amendment.
Legare’s guilty plea, with respect to the sentence of imprisonment for 60 years, was involuntary, the application states.
As of press time defense attorney Michael Gross did not respond to a request for comment.
63rd Judicial District Attorney Michael Bagley said he disagrees with the defense attorney and will be challenging his petition in court. The case was prosecuted by former District Attorney Fred Hernandez, who was unseated by Bagley in 2016.
“I believe it is my job and duty as district attorney to contest the defendant’s request to reduce her sentence. I will ask the court to honor the integrity of the previous plea agreement,” Bagley said.
“I intend to protect the sanctity and reputation of this office even though I was not the district attorney at the time of this plea and sentence,” Bagley said.