Mexican man appeals 29-year sentence after prison murder guilty plea in Louisiana

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — A Mexican man who pleaded guilty to a prison murder in Louisiana has appealed his 29-year sentence.

The appeal for David “Grim” Cortez, 36, was put on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals docket on Wednesday, online records show. They did not include a brief describing grounds for the appeal.

He and codefendant Jesus “Tiger” Sanchez, who does not have a sentencing date scheduled, pleaded guilty in March to stabbing another man to death in the prison yard on June 18, 2014 — the day the man arrived at the federal prison in Pollock, according to statements filed with their guilty pleas.

The man they attacked died about an hour later with 19 stab wounds in his upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms, neck and head, U.S. District Court statements said.

He was identified as Carlos Paramo in the 2018 indictment against the two and the bill of information to which Sanchez pleaded guilty, though only his initials were given in court papers associated with Cortez’s plea.

Cortez and Sanchez both pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which can carry a life sentence and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on Sept. 24 sentenced Cortez to 29 years and two months for the killing, according to Drell’s docket and a news release sent Monday from Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook.

The only David Cortez currently listed in federal custody is in the prison at Oakdale, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ online inmate locator. It was not immediately clear where Sanchez is being held.

The news release described Cortez as a Mexican national but did not give his hometown. His guilty plea stated that he agreed to be deported once he completed whatever sentence he was given. Sanchez’s plea did not include such a statement.

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