JANESVILLE - The final of four defendants charged in the January 2016 shooting death of a Beloit 5-year-old has pleaded guilty, marking the final stage of the three-year legal process.
Hugo Martinez, 21, accepted a plea deal from the Rock County District Attorney's Office and pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree reckless homicide as a party to the crime.
His plea follows Isaac W. Torres, 27, Eric Salazar-Mota, 24 entering guilty pleas to the same second-degree charge earlier this year. The shooter in the case, Sergio R. Ortiz, 26, was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 20 years post-release supervision, the maximum allowable penalty, on Nov. 9.
All three remaining cases are up for sentencing, with the plea agreements allowing for each party to individually make arguments during the final hearing.
The charge of second-degree reckless homicide as a party to a crime carries a potential maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Austin Ramos Jr. was shot and killed while riding in the back of a car driven by his father, Austin Ramos Sr. The father was targeted by the group in an apparent attempt to get revenge for the shooting death of Ortiz's brother, Jose A. Ortiz, who was killed on Oct. 19, 2015 in the 1100 block of Bluff Street. No one has been arrested in the slaying of Jose Ortiz, and the case remains open.
Martinez will be sentenced on April 24; Salazar-Mota on March 8 and Torres on April 5, according to court records.