Mesa cousins will be sentenced Friday in fatal beating - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa cousins will be sentenced Friday in fatal beating

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Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2006 10:04 am | Updated: 2:18 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Four Mesa cousins will be sentenced Friday for the November 2004 beating death of a 20-year-old man. Osaiasi Foleti, 20, his brother, Kuea Foleti, 19, and 15-year-old Lose Ika pleaded guilty to second-degree murder without agreeing to any plea bargain.

Each faces 10 to 22 years in prison.

Ika’s brother, Nafetalai Ika, 20, pleaded guilty to the less serious charge of manslaughter and will be sentenced to no more than 16 years under a plea deal, according to Krystal Garza, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office spokeswoman.

"Part of his plea required him to admit to his codefendants’ involvement and what they all did," Garza said. "This defendant had minimal involvement as he only kicked the victim once on the leg."

Just two days before the attack, Mesa High School graduate Osaiasi Foleti was in court to plead guilty to criminal damage. In June 2003, Foleti and another man rode around in the bed of a pickup truck and bashed 53 cars with baseball bats. He was to report a month later for a 30-day jail sentence.

The four young men showed up at a party about 1 a.m. Nov. 6, 2004, in the

1000 block of West Portobello Avenue, Mesa.

According to court records, Osaiasi Foleti exchanged words with Westwood High School graduate Omar Villalpando, 20, before landing a punch that knocked him to the ground.

The other three joined Osaiasi Foleti in stomping and kicking Villalpando as he lay helpless, amid screams of women begging them to stop.

Treena Kay, a deputy Maricopa County attorney, wrote that the four ran to their van when partygoers called police.

"(Lose Ika) indicated that during the ride home, all four of the defendants discussed how it was the victim’s fault the fight started and the victim deserved what he got," Kay wrote.

Dr. John Hu, deputy Maricopa County medical examiner, reported that Villalpando had no "defense wounds," which suggests he was unconscious during most of the beating.

Villalpando’s grandmother, Rosalind Horace of Phoenix, wrote in a letter to Maricopa County Superior Court that Villalpando’s family was discouraged from touching his body at his funeral "as his body was barely put together."

"The individual that we saw was not the face of Omar, as he was disfigured due to being beaten to death," Horace wrote.

No one from the Foleti or Ika families could be reached for comment.

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