LIFE WITH­OUT PA­ROLE

An­ta­vian Love sen­tenced in the mur­der of En­rique Ramirez Trejo

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - JACKIE GUTKNECHT jgutknecht@cov­news.com

An­ta­vian Love, 17, will spend the rest of his life in prison af­ter sen­tenc­ing was an­nounced by Al­covy Ju­di­cial Cir­cuit Judge Sa­muel Ozburn Fri­day morn­ing in the New­ton County Ju­di­cial Cen­ter.

Love was found guilty on seven charges on April 13, in the mur­der of En­rique Ramirez Trejo on June 18, 2016. A pre-sen­tenc­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion was or­dered by Ozburn be­fore Fri­day’s sen­tenc­ing hear­ing could take place.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, District At­tor­ney Layla Zon called wit­nesses to re­view Love’s ju­ve­nile crim­i­nal his­tory, prior to the mur­der in­ci­dent. Charges in­cluded an ag­gra­vated bat­tery that re­sulted in a bro­ken jaw for the vic­tim, ag­gra­vated bur­glary, crim­i­nal tres­pass and in­ter­fer­ence with an elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing de­vice.

Most re­cently, Love was in­volved in a fight at the New­ton County Jail with an­other in­mate in May.

Zon also re­viewed Love’s school record, pro­vided by the New­ton County School Sys­tem, which in­cluded four in­ci­dents of rule vi­o­la­tions and five in­ci­dents in­volv­ing fight­ing or strik­ing an­other per­son. One in­ci­dent in­volved Love pre­tend­ing to be armed with a gun on school prop­erty. The records spanned from kinder­garten through one year of high school, which is all Love had com­pleted at the time of the mur­der.

Zon pointed out, dur­ing her ar­gu­ments, that Love did not have a prob­lem with get­ting caught up in the wrong crowd, but that he was “the wrong crowd.”

De­fense At­tor­ney Teri Doepke, of the Al­covy Cir­cuit Pub­lic De­fender’s Of­fice, urged the judge to con­sider sen­tenc­ing Love to a sin­gle life sen­tence, which would mean the pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role af­ter 30 years.

How­ever, Ozburn agreed with the state’s rec­om­men­da­tion and sen­tenced Love to life with­out the pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role for the mal­ice mur­der charge. The two charges of felony mur­der were va­cated. The armed rob­bery charge tal­lied a life sen­tence to run con­cur­rently

with the mal­ice mur­der charge. The ag­gra­vated as­sault charge was also merged with the mal­ice mur­der charge. The theft by re­ceiv­ing charge was merged with the armed rob­bery charge. The pos­ses­sion of a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of a felony charge added five years, to be served con­sec­u­tively, to­tal­ing a life sen­tence with­out the pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role plus an ad­di­tional five years.

Ozburn said Love shows a “con­sis­tent dis­re­spect for au­thor­ity” and a “con­sis­tent dis­re­gard for other peo­ple.”

“An­ta­vian Love was sen­tenced to­day to life with­out the pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role for the mur­der of En­rique Trejo. This means that he will not ever be re­leased from prison,” Zon said in a state­ment to The Cov­ing­ton News. “It was the harsh­est sen­tence un­der the law for a ju­ve­nile of­fender and in this par­tic­u­lar case, with these par­tic­u­lar hor­ren­dous facts, it was a just sen­tence.

“I want to thank the ju­rors who served on this heartwrench­ing case. En­rique Trejo was a great hus­band, fa­ther and mem­ber of this com­mu­nity. I know that his fam­ily and this com­mu­nity will con­tinue to grieve his loss even be­yond this guilty ver­dict and sen­tence.”

Trejo’s wife, who asked to only be quoted as Mrs. Trejo, thanked the com­mu­nity for its sup­port.

“I want to thank the whole com­mu­nity and ev­ery­body in­volved, the time the jury took and ev­ery­body for their prayers, thank you so much,” she said. “I have ev­ery­body in my prayers.”

Doepke said she would file Love’s mo­tion for new trial, which is due within 30 days of sen­tenc­ing and will pur­sue his ap­peal from there.

Doepke had no ad­di­tional com­ments to of­fer on the sen­tenc­ing.

Prior to his mur­der, Trejo had been an em­ployee of El Charro Mex­i­can Restau­rant in Cov­ing­ton for 30 years. The night of the in­ci­dent, he was on his way home from work and stopped at a gas sta­tion at the in­ter­sec­tion of High­way 36 and the Cov­ing­ton By­pass where he met Love.

Love, who was ac­com­pa­nied by two ju­ve­niles, asked Trejo for a ride back home. Dur­ing that ride, Love pro­vided Trejo with false di­rec­tions and had him turn down Lower River Road. It was there that Love pulled a gun on Trejo and shot him mul­ti­ple times.

Af­ter Trejo was killed, Love pulled him out of the ve­hi­cle and left him on the side of the road. The next day, Love was ap­pre­hended by po­lice fol­low­ing a high­speed chase in Trejo’s car.

Dar­ryl Welch | The Cov­ing­ton News

An­ta­vian Love lis­tens as Judge Sa­muel Ozburn de­liv­ers his sen­tence.

En­rique Ramirez Trejo

An­ta­vian Love

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