Juan Carlos Alvarado, 26, of Milford, was sentenced in court today for Class B felony aggravated battery stemming from a February stabbing in Warsaw.
In a plea agreement, Alvarado admitted to the Feb. 20 stabbing of Ruben Enciso at Suburban Acres Mobile Home Park. At 9:03 p.m. that night, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputies, Multi-Township EMS, the Leesburg Fire Department and Kosciusko County Crime Scene Investigators were called to CR 175 East near 8 Square Road at Suburban Acres Trailer Park to what was initially reported as a shooting. (See related story)
Officers arrived at Lot 141 and located the victim, Ruben Enciso, 39. They also discovered Enciso had actually been stabbed approximately 14 times.
As part of Alvarado’s plea, an A felony charge of attempted murder was dismissed. In court, deputy prosecutor Steve Hearn asked for the maximum sentence allowed for a B felony noting that, with the plea, “The defendent got a huge benefit with the plea agreement and he didn’t step up to the state to cooperate. He waited until the final hour to plea.”
Further, Hearn noted that medical records prove paramedics who responded to the stabbing “saved Ruben’s life by stabilizing him. Only by the efforts of the medical personnel did he survive,” said Hearn. “There were 14-some stab wounds and this was not isolated situation. He attacked the victim with rage and had a deadly weapon and he used it numerous times.”
Both Hearn and Kosciusko Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed referred to a video confession provided by Alvarado that seemed to show no remorse for the crime. Hearn told the court Alvarado blamed his actions on intoxication and the fact he was angry over allegations that Enciso molested Alvarado’s niece which resulted in the birth of a child. DNA tests were provided to the court that eliminated Enciso as the father of the child.
“He blames (the stabbing) on alcohol, but his criminal record shows he had a habit of getting drunk and breaking the law. He certainly deserves the maximum sentence for a B felony,” Hearn concluded.
Enciso provided a written statement to the court, but did not appear for the sentencing. Through a a translator, Alvarado only said he was leaving the sentencing “in the hands of the Lord.”
Defense attorney Jay Rigdon said it “was never really an attempted murder case. I don’t believe there was that specific intent to kill this human being.” He asked Judge Reed to take into consideration Alvarado’s responsibility to take care of his family, his criminal record shows no previous violent crimes and that an investigation into the molestation allegations was not challenged by Enciso. “Nowhere in the victim’s impact statement does Ruben argue that,” said Rigdon.
Hearn again addressed the court saying, “I disagree that it’s not attempted murder. The court saw the video of (Alvarado’s confession) and the defendant said, ‘Ruben needed to be put down.’ He said whatever sentence he got he would come back and ‘put him down,’ he didn’t care if he got deported, he would always come back and he would ‘finish the job’.”
Judge Reed agreed with Hearn and told Alvarado, “I’ve watched the video, heard your confession and heard your threats and the prosecutor is correct. You said when you get out you’re going to go back and finish the job. You made a plan and had the intent … you stabbed him at least 14 times … You’ve been deported and you still came back and now you’re asking me to think more of your family than you did.”
Judge Reed handed down an 18-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Corrections. He suspended 4 years and gave Alvarado credit for 456 days already served. With more good time credit, Alvarado will likely spend approximately 5 years in prison.
As an additional part of sentencing, Alvarado was ordered to pay the victim just under $31,400 in restitution for medical bills and damaged property. An immigration hold exists on Alvarado meaning when he is released from prison he will be deported to Mexico. “But if you come back, you will abide by the rules of probation,” said Judge Reed, noting those are to include drug testing, reimbursing the costs of his court appointed attorney, undergo a substance abuse evaluation and any suggested treatment.
The maximum sentence for a B felony is between 6 years and 20 years imprisonment.
A second individual who was present during the stabbing, Hugo Alvarado, 33, also of Milford, was located by authorities in a ditch the night of the incident. He was suffering from a contusion to the head and an apparent broken leg. Hugo Alvarado was never charged in the case as Hearn said there was no evidence to link him to the stabbing.