Ruben Mize, one of four men convicted in the 2007 murder of 16-year-old Santa Barbara resident Lorenzo Carachure, was sentenced to several decades in state prison Monday by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Clifford Anderson.
Mize, found guilty by a jury in March, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years for attempted murder, 26 years to life for first-degree murder and three years on a related charge.
Carachure was stabbed to death in a neighborhood on Santa Barbara’s Westside.
Mize was previously sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading no contest to attempted murder with a gang enhancement in an unrelated 2007 case. The victim, then 17 years old, was stabbed 30 times but survived the attack. Senior Deputy District Attorney Hans Almgren requested that the sentences be served consecutively.
At court Monday, Mize sat next to his attorney, Joe Allen, in red jail garb and became visibly upset when it was suggested that his sentencing be continued to May 31, when the other three men are scheduled to be sentenced.
He changed his plea to no contest in two pending cases — involvement in a Jan. 24, 2008, “jumping-in” and a Feb. 15, 2009, assault with gang enhancement, and street terrorism charges. He will be sentenced in those two on May 31 in Department 10.
“Mr. Mize, you are going to have a lot of time to think about whether you want to change,” Anderson said after the sentencing, adding that Mize’s choice to inflict pain on people “who live on the separate side of State Street than you makes no sense to this court.”
Members of the Santa Barbara Police Department showed up Monday for the sentencing, and six sheriff’s bailiffs remained in the courtroom during the proceedings.
Ricardo Nava, Bryan Medinilla and Raul Diaz were also charged in connection with the 2007 murder on the 700 block of San Pascual. Medinilla was convicted of first-degree murder, and Diaz and Nava were convicted of second-degree murder. All four defendants were convicted of street terrorism last July, but a hung jury on the murder charges resulted in a mistrial.