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Orlando Esiesa Tobar and Jorge Rafael Medina-Reyes – Killer Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge to Avoid Death Penalty, Implicates Co-Defendants

One of six people charged with kidnapping and killing a Utah woman in 2021 has pleaded guilty and implicated his co-defendants. Charging documents say Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero, 25, was taken forcibly from her home in Kearns on February 6, 2021, by Orlando Esiesa Tobar, 29, and Jorge Rafael Medina-Reyes, 21, KUTV reported. She was taken to an apartment in West Valley City, where Tobar reportedly questioned her about her alleged cooperation with a police investigation that led to the federal arrest of one of his “close associates.”

Romero told her kidnappers she didn’t talk to police but said she knew that a man who had supposedly committed suicide — the husband of one of the witnesses — was actually killed by Tobar and Medina-Reyes.

“(Tobar) stated that she knew too much, and she was not going to leave that apartment,” witnesses told police, the document say.

Medina-Reyes shot her in the head, and the witnesses left the apartment. But they reported hearing another gunshot, and Tobar came out with blood on his hands. Romero’s body was found wrapped in plastic more than month later.

Tobar pleaded guilty to murder on Friday, a step down from his original aggravated murder charge, and will no longer face the death penalty, KSL said. Prosecutors also dropped an aggravated murder charge.

Medina-Reyes pleaded not guilty to murder and kidnapping charges, but he has a court date in June to discuss a possible plea change, KTVX reported.

The other four suspects — Fernando Marquez and Carolina Marquez, who have also been charged with murder and kidnapping, and Ivan Acosta and Cristian Morales, charged with obstruction of justice and abuse or desecration of a body — are awaiting trial.

According to Law&Crime, Tobar’s attorney, Neal Hamilton, told the court on Friday that Tobar kidnapped Romero and brought her outside to a waiting car driven by Medina-Reyes. The two brought her to the West Valley City apartment, where Fernando and Carolina Marquez and Acosta were waiting.

Tobar faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on July 22, KTVX said.

 

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