A man took an Alford plea Friday for hitting a North Charleston resident 100 times with a machete. An Alford plea allows him to maintain his innocence, but he understands that a jury could have convicted him of murder.
According to The Post and Courier, Carlos Urgell-Perez, 24, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after entering the Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter.
Urgell-Perez was a suspected member of the Los Zetas drug cartel who had been deported to Mexico three times before Sept. 5, 2015, when Charleston County deputies said he killed Raphael Baragan-Alverez, 35.
Drugs did play a role in the killing, but attorneys said the crime was more personal than once thought, posing a challenge to Urgell-Perez’s prosecution. Some evidence indicated that the victim had assaulted his girlfriend, prompting an angry reaction.
Prosecutors and the girlfriend said later that didn’t excuse the crime.