SANTA BARBARA — Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa brought a long series of legal maneuvers to an abrupt close in the murder trial of Luis Sosa with the imposition of a 50-year-to-life sentence last week.
Walking down a quiet Santa Barbara neighborhood street in the company of accomplice Johnny Lopez in September 2006, Sosa fired a pistol at Tacadena while he was seated behind the wheel of his car, his wife at his side, and parked in his own driveway.
Dismissing defense motions for retrial due to jury misconduct, citing repeated inconsistencies in the testimony of Sosa, and pointing to the testimony of convicted accessory-after-the-fact Lopez, Ochoa pointed to the incredulity of a number of defense witnesses.
The murder victim’s family members were allowed to speak directly to the accused before a hushed courtroom immediately prior to sentencing. Tacadena’s wife referred to Sosa as “bum” before Judge Ochoa brought the drama to an abrupt close with the pronouncement of the 50-to-life term.