A Kansas City, Kan., man will spend 27 years in federal prison for his role in a drug-related triple murder in Independence.
Raul Soto, 23, of Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to possess 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He also pleaded to one count of using a firearm during a drug trafficking conspiracy to kill Antonio Hernandez.
Federal prosecutors had considered seeking the death penalty against Soto and co-defendant Kevin M. Finley, but the Justice Department declined to take that course. Finley’s case is pending.
Several other co-defendants have pleaded guilty to their involvement in the early morning events of Nov. 16, 2012, in which three people were killed and a 12-year-old boy was wounded during a home invasion at 1505 S. Pope Ave. in Independence.
Soto, also known as Choch, shot Hernandez in the back of the head while his hands were bound behind him with duct tape. Also killed in the attack were his mother, Maria Hernandez, and her boyfriend, Tomas Dominguez-Gregorio. Another son of Maria Hernandez was wounded when he jumped in front of his mother while she was being shot.
Prosecutors say the motive was to rob the residents of drugs and cash. The victims denied having either. Soto admitted that he and his co-conspirators left the house with a motorcycle and a television.