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Maricopa man sentenced to life in prison for killing couple

Posted: 3:22 PM, Aug 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-20 18:22:57-04
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FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona man who pleaded guilty to killing a couple and burying their bodies on his property in 2015 has been sentenced to life in prison.

Pinal County prosecutors say 42-year-old Jose Valenzuela received the maximum sentence after his plea agreement last month removed the death penalty from the case.

Valenzuela was sentenced Monday to life in prison for the first-degree murder of Tina Careccia and an additional 25 years for the second-degree murder of Michael Careccia.

Authorities say Valenzuela shot Michael Careccia following a struggle in June 2015 and he then restrained Tina Careccia and shot her in the head.

Their bodies were found on Valenzuela's property in Maricopa 11 days later.

Maricopa is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Phoenix.