LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
Antavian Love sentenced in the murder of Enrique Ramirez Trejo
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.
Antavian Love listens as Judge Samuel Ozburn delivers his sentence.
Enrique Ramirez Trejo