Will Justice Prevail? Family’s Emotional Plea in Murder Trial

Phoenix, AZ: Irene Luevano’s family is one step closer to achieving justice for her tragic death. After nearly two years since her alleged murder by her boyfriend, Jorge Quintero Lara, he has now pleaded guilty to the killing of the single mother of six.

Lara’s guilty plea encompassed charges of 2nd-degree murder, kidnapping, and forgery, all part of a plea agreement. However, the family is opposed to this arrangement and wants to proceed to trial.

“We’re seeking no leniency for him,” asserted Victoria Luevano, the victim’s sister, in an interview with 12News. “We want to see him incarcerated, deprived of freedom for the rest of his life.”

Initially, Lara had faced a grand jury indictment on first-degree murder, kidnapping, and concealing a dead body, offenses that could have led to a sentence of up to fifty years in prison. Nevertheless, with his acceptance of the plea deal, Lara now faces a 33-year prison term.

Expressing their dissatisfaction with the plea agreement, Marilisa Salgado, Luevano’s daughter, conveyed to the judge, “I don’t accept the 33 years. I know it’s not fair; he deserves more. My mom deserves justice.” Three members of the family passionately implored the court to reject the plea agreement, with Irene Luevano’s mother emphasizing, “He does not deserve to be released when he’s 56 years old. I would like for them to give him life in prison. That’s all I want.”

The tragic event unfolded on January 16, 2024, when Luevano contacted her eldest daughter, Marilisa Salgado, reporting that her boyfriend, Jorge Quintero Lara, had fatally wounded her by stabbing her in the neck. Phoenix police were alerted, and efforts were made to trace her phone, but they were unable to locate her.

For five agonizing days, family, friends, and even strangers conducted a relentless search for Luevano across the Valley, focusing on areas the couple had frequented for off-roading. On January 20, 2024, Luevano’s lifeless body was discovered, located 100 miles to the west of the Valley. Arrest records indicated that there were multiple stab wounds.

On the day of Luevano’s disappearance, Lara sought medical attention for a “sharp force injury to his stomach,” according to court records. During questioning, he claimed to have been robbed and denied any altercation with his girlfriend. He was subsequently arrested on an unrelated forgery charge. After the discovery of Luevano’s body, Lara was interrogated further, and in a post-Miranda interview, he confessed to the neck-stabbing incident that occurred while they were driving in Phoenix, which was detailed in court documents. 

Victoria Luevano expressed the family’s unwavering determination, stating, “We’re not going to rest. We’re just praying to God that we go to trial. So they can hear us. So we can get justice.”