A 65-year-old Scottsbluff man has been sentenced to life in prison Thursday morning in Scotts Bluff County District Court.
Lucio Munoz learned his fate during Thursday morning’s sentencing from District Judge Leo Dobrovolny. In addition to the life sentence for his 1st Degree Murder conviction, Munoz was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison for his conviction for Use of a Weapon to Commit a Felony. Both sentences are to be served consecutively.
Munoz was arrested in January, 2017 in connection to the December 31, 2016 fatal stabbing of 48-year-old Melissa May. Her body was found several days later in the R.C. Scot Apartments after a welfare check.
A jury found Munoz guilty on both charges on November 16, 2017 following a four day trial.
About one dozen people were in attendance for Thursday morning’s sentencing, including May’s family members and Scottsbluff Police Department officers who assisted in the investigation.
County Attorney Dave Eubanks said that Munoz was a “pathetic character” who led a “pathetic life,” and cited five decades of criminal activity from across the country. Eubanks characterized Munoz as having an “oh well” attitude and didn’t show any remorse whatsoever for his actions.
Eubanks continued that Munoz didn’t care taking May’s life, saying, “Melissa May had family, they loved Melissa May. She was a mother and a grandmother, and she had value.”
The District Attorney concluded that he didn’t think that Munoz had a conscience, and hoped the vision of Melissa May will stay with him and haunt him every day until the day he goes into the ground.
Defense Attorney Bernie Straetker said that the only hard prior conviction his client had was 35 years ago for an aggravated assault in Laramie County, Wyoming. He requested that Munoz be sentenced to 24 to 36 months in prison for the weapons charge.
District Judge Leo Dobrovolny asked Munoz is he had anything to say before receiving his sentence; Munoz replied, “No.”
Judge Dobrovolny said that Munoz had a fairly extensive criminal history, and the murder with multiple stab wounds was extremely serious. He noted that there was no excuse or justification for the killing, and the attitude of the defendant was one of denial.
The Judge then ordered Lucio Munoz to serve life in prison on the first count, and 20 to 40 years in prison for the second count. Munoz was also ordered to pay the more than $7,700 in court costs.