A Council Bluffs, Iowa, man was sentenced Wednesday to a maximum of five-years in prison for his role in the beating death of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.
Twenty-one-year old Chad Fortner pleaded guilty to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and willful injury in connection with the August 21st death of 28-year-old Alejandro Sanchez-Rojas.
Fortner had been charged with first-degree murder, but reached a plea bargain with the County Attorney based on differing witness accounts. According to court documents, Sanchez-Rojas and 22-year-old Iyair Solis-Marin, both of Omaha, drove to the home of Brandy Kermoade, so Rojas could visit with his ex.
Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilbur said the woman sent text messages to Fortner indicating Sanchez-Rojas was sexually assaulting her. When Fortner, his sister and her boyfriend arrived on the scene, Fortner found Kermoade and Sanchez-Rojas in the side yard of the residence. Rojas tried to explain what was happening, but Wilbur says Fortner hit Rojas about 20 times with a tire iron, before hitting Solis-Marin and breaking several bones in his face.
Fortner’s attorney asked Judge Greg Steensland for a structured probation for his client, who he said has a low IQ. He also told the judge that his client took action to protect another person again Sanchez-Rojas, who was legally intoxicated and had methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death.
Because of what he called “unique factors” in the case, Steensland gave Fortner a deferred judgment on the involuntary manslaughter conviction, which means it could be erased from his record. However, the judge sentenced him to up to five years in prison on the willful injury charge.
Thanks to Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic