Jury sentences Alegria after murder, kidnapping trial

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Jury sentences Alegria after murder, kidnapping trial

By Taylor Higgins. CREATED Nov 1, 2013 - UPDATED: Dec 9, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A jury has just sentenced Kyle Alegria after they convicted him of first-degree murder last month.

In November, the jury convicted Alegria of first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual conduct with a minor after the death of 7-year-old Rhia Almeida.

Today, the jury sentenced Alegria to life in prison for the murder, 35-years in prison for the sexual conduct with a minor under 15 and 17 years for the kidnapping.

All of the years are to serve consecutively.

Authorities say Alegria, 19-years old at the time, raped, beat and stabbed Rhia several times. She had come over to Alegria's Ajo home to play with his little brother.

Her body was found in 2009 in a wash behind Alegria's home in Ajo

Friday, during closing arguments, the defense painted the 24-year-old as, depressed, alienated and drawn to the music of the "Insane Clown Posse." 

A defense attorney also claimed Alegria suffers from mild mental retardation, an attribute, they say, is not worthy of the death penalty.

A judge will officially sentence the 24-year-old in December.