LUBBOCK, TX – Steve Ballesteros, convicted last week of murder, will have to serve 80 years in prison. That was the verdict from the jury on Monday afternoon. The same jury that found him guilty also chose his punishment. The jury did not reach a finding of sudden passion – which was essentially the only defense Ballesteros raised.
Court records say Ballesteros, 43, strangled his ex-girlfriend to death last year. He left Maria Perez’ body to be found by two maintenance men and two of Perez’ four children.
Ballesteros did not deny killing her but instead said he “snapped” and didn’t realize what he had done until it was too late. The jury did not agree with him.