Detroit Man Pleaded Guilty to Lufkin Murder - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/24/06 - Lufkin

Detroit Man Pleaded Guilty to Lufkin Murder

by Ramonica R. Jones

Marco Guzman has pleaded guilty to murder and aggravated assault. He entered the plea just three days before his trial was set to begin in Lufkin.

Jury selection for the case against the 21-year-old was set for Monday morning with opening arguments in the trial beginning Tuesday. Guzman pleaded guilty to running over a group of people after a Lufkin Super Bowl party last year.

Guzman drove through the parking lot of the Sports Shack bar, plowing into three people before driving to the parking lot next door and running over two others.

Elizabeth Esparza was one of several people who listened to Guzman plead guilty to murder. Her 29-year-old brother, Julio Esparza, was one of the five people Guzman crashed his car into. Julio later died.

"I just wanted to give him what I had to say," Esparza said. "Let him know how I felt; what he did to me, to my kids, to my nieces, to my family, to my mom."

Corporal Mike Shurley was also in the courtroom Friday. He was the lead investigator on the case and one of the first investigators on the scene that night.

"It always feels good to get it over with," said Shurley. "It seems like it brings a sense of closure for everyone. He pleaded guilty to one count of murder [and] received 40 years and one count of aggravated assault and received 20 years on that."

Several relatives of the victims told Guzman how he ruined their lives because of his crime. Their statements were full of rage, sadness, anger, and memories.

Esparza told Guzman "I miss my brother - how he used to make me laugh and make me smile and what a good father he was to his two kids and what a great uncle he was."

Investigators said Guzman was drunk when he ran over three people in front of the Sports Shack and two people in front of Big Boy's Toys on South First Street. They believe his rampage had something to do with a group of women fighting in the parking lot.

Guzman will serve his 40-year prison sentence for the murder charge and the 20-year sentence for aggravated assault concurrently.

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