Former Officer Convicted of Murder Seeks New Sentence
COLUMBIA (AP) - A former Columbia police officer convicted of murder is seeking to have his sentence thrown out, claiming mistakes by his lawyer.
Steven Rios was convicted in 2008 of the 2004 slaying of 23-year-old University of Missouri student Jesse Valencia. Rios has been incarcerated in a South Dakota prison. He is serving a life sentence.
Rios claims that in his 2008 retrial for the murder he was denied effective legal assistance from his lawyer.
Rios was first convicted in 2005 of first-degree murder and armed criminal action, but an appeals court threw out the sentence in April 2008 because hearsay evidence was used in the trial. Rios was retried later and was convicted of second degree murder and armed criminal action.