BY RACHAEL GRAY-Garden City Telegram
ULYSSES — A Ulysses man pleaded guilty Thursday in Grant County District Court to a charge of first-degree murder in the August 2008 deaths of a Ulysses couple.
Marcos Lomas, 24, was charged with one count of capital murder in the Aug. 30, 2008, stabbing deaths of his neighbors, Marcos and Hilda Garcia, who were found dead in their trailer home in Ulysses.
The state of Kansas, represented by Deputy Attorney General Barry Disney and Grant County Attorney David Black, have agreed not to seek the death penalty under a plea agreement with Lomas' defense lawyer Ron Evans, a member of the Death Penalty Defense Unit in Topeka.
In the plea agreement, it is recommended that Lomas be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Lomas is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 13.
Lomas also was charged with aggravated burglary for allegedly entering the couple's home with the intent to commit a felony, according to a news release from the Attorney General's Office. Lomas pleaded not guilty to that charge, and Disney dismissed the charge.
Lomas turned himself in to authorities in August 2009, and according testimony from law enforcement officials, admitted to the murders.
Disney said the plea agreement was a fair one because before Lomas turned himself in, the murders had remained unsolved and law enforcement had no leads on the case.
Hector Trejo, Hilda Garcia's brother-in-law, said that with Lomas' guilty plea, justice had been served.
"The people here in Ulysses can be in peace now because it won't happen again (with Lomas)," he said.
Hilda Trejo, Hector's sister-in-law, cried during the conclusion of the arraignment.
"Any sentence that he gets is not enough for what he did," she said.
In a taped interview aired in April during a preliminary hearing, testimony from the Garcias' son, Marcos, disclosed that the boy was in the bedroom when the intruder entered, attacked and murdered his parents. He was 4 years old at the time of the murders.
Terry Mass of the Grant County Sheriff's Office was the first responder to the crime scene. During the April preliminary hearing, Mass said he found the boy in another bedroom with blood on his back. The boy said the blood was from his mother.
During interviews with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Lomas said he had killed Marcos and Hilda Garcia, then returned to the home later to try to find and kill the boy.
"What personally hurts me the most is that he came back to the trailer to kill the boy," Hector Trejo said.
Relatives of the Garcias would not comment on the welfare of the boy or who had custody of him.