The only individual charged in connection to a 2013 triple homicide at a pit bull ranch and marijuana growing operation in Oneida County has struck a deal with state prosecutors that could get him out of prison in less than 10 years.
Severo Luera, 39, of Garland, Utah, was originally charged in 2015 with three counts of aiding and abetting a murder in the first degree and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree in connection to the shooting deaths of 62-year-old Brent L. Christensen, his 32-year-old son Trent Jon Christensen and Trent’s 27-year-old girlfriend Yavette Chivon Carter.
All three victims were found dead on April 5, 2013, inside the residence they shared in the small town of Holbrook west of Malad. Trent and Yavette’s two children, ages 2 years old and 2 months old, were found unharmed at the scene.
Luera initially pleaded not guilty to the four felony charges in May 2015.
However, after a mediation held Friday, Luera agreed to a plea deal with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office in which the charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree was dropped, and all three counts of aiding and abetting in the first degree were downgraded to aiding and abetting in the second degree.
Luera pleaded guilty on Friday to all three of the second-degree aiding and abetting charges, authorities said.
Luera will remain incarcerated at the Caribou County Jail until he’s sentenced on May 3 at the Oneida County Courthouse in Malad.
As part of the plea agreement, the Idaho Attorney General’s Office’s sentencing recommendation for Luera is at least eight years in prison and possibly eight additional years as well as a $2,000 fine. However, if the judge chooses not to accept the plea agreement, Luera will be facing up to life in prison.
Luera has waived his right to appeal the sentence.
Law enforcement officers testified in April 2018 that Luera had confessed to accompanying five individuals to the home in Holbrook where the murders occurred, as well as knowing which two of the five men pulled the triggers.
However, Luera remains the only person to be charged in connection to the murders and it’s unclear if anyone else will be charged.
After the bodies of the three victims were found in April 2013, police discovered a sophisticated marijuana growing operation in the home’s basement, with more than three dozen marijuana plants valued at about $100,000.
More than 60 pit bull dogs and evidence of a dog fighting ring were also found on the property.