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Nunes sentenced to 40 years in prison

By Staff | May 25, 2010

A man charged in connection to a 2006 double murder in Cape Coral was sentenced today, wrapping up a case that involved two dead teens and 10 teen co-defendants.
Twentieth Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas S. Reese gave Paul Nunes a reduced sentence of 40 years in prison in the murders of Alexis Sosa, 18, and his 14-year-old nephew, Jeffrey Sosa. Nunes had pleaded guilty in August, but later requested that his plea deal with state prosecutors be withdrawn.
Reese denied the motion to withdrawal the plea on May 12.
“This marks the end of the so-called ‘Cash Feenz’ case,” Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said. “All of the defendants involved have been taken care of through the criminal justice system.”
Co-defendants Melissa Rivera, Iriana Santos, Alexis Fernandez, Cody Roux and Michael Balint each pleaded guilty to lesser crimes and received prison sentences that varied between 14 years and 26 years in exchange for their testimony. They were sentenced last week, according to court documents.
Also sentenced last week was co-defendant Kenneth Junior Lopez. He received 50 years in prison under a plea deal in which he would have had to testify against Nunes, if necessary. Lopez was the last to enter into a deal.
Co-defendants Kemar Johnston, Roderick Washington and Ashley Toye each were found guilty in separate trials. Johnston and Washington each received four consecutive life sentences plus 30 years in prison. Toye was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
According to Syoen, the state feels that it did its job, and the prosecutors are satisfied with the sentences handed down to each of the defendants.
“As far as the outcomes, I feel that we looked at everybody’s roles in the murder, and we either went to trial or extended what we thought were appropriate plea offers,” Assistant State Attorney Marie Doerr said.
Doerr prosecuted the case with Assistant State Attorney Bob Lee. Doerr and Lee are assigned to the Homicide Unit of the State Attorney’s Office.
“I’m very glad it’s over with, but there’s no winners in this case,” Doerr said. “There’s two young people who were tortured and killed at a birthday party and 10 people people going to prison for it.”
Alexis and Jeffrey Sosa were hog-tied, beaten and tortured at a Cape Coral duplex during a birthday party in October 2006. Driven to an industrial park, they were fatally shot and Alexis’ body was put in the truck of a vehicle and set on fire. Authorities found Jeffrey’s body lying near the burned vehicle.
“It’s just the ages of all these people, from 16 to 20, that makes the case so sad,” Doerr said.
According to Syoen, the case took a lot of work on the part of the Homicide Unit and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. She said the case involved so many people, which made it unique, and every person was looked at in terms of their responsibility or culpability in the tortures and deaths of the Sosas.
“In the history of Cape Coral, this is perhaps one of the most heinous, outrageous crimes,” she said, adding that officials hope other adolescents see how “a simply birthday party was turned into something so horrible.”
“We hope that lessons were learned,” Syoen said. “We just hope that we never ever see something like this again.”
Nunes’ defense attorney, Melodee A. Smith of Fort Lauderdale, was unavailable for comment.