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Lizana gets life terms in Arkadelphia triple slaying

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published August 8, 2014 at 11:15 a.m. Updated August 8, 2014 at 11:27 a.m.


FILE - Riakos Lizana is escorted from Clark County Circuit Court Friday, Jan. 18, after entering an innocent plea to three counts of capital murder and one count of aggravated residential burglary.

The man arrested in the killing of two young girls and their stepfather in Arkadelphia will serve the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty Friday, officials said.

In a hearing Friday morning in Clark County Circuit Court, Riakos Lizana pleaded guilty to three counts of capital murder and one count of residential burglary. He was then sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment to be served consecutively without parole, prosecutor Blake Batson said.

Batson said Lizana, 21, did address the court, admitting he killed Bobby Jean Galbraith, 40; Adiele Crutchfield, 6; and Marley Crutchfield, 4, inside their home at 1032 S. 11th St. on Dec. 6, 2012.

Batson said that Lizana, who he described as an acquaintance to the family, also acknowledged he had entered the home with the intention of committing a theft. The reason he killed the two young girls remains unknown.

"He did not offer an explanation of why," Batson said.

Two of the bodies were found after Galbraith's wife returned to the home, according to a probable cause affidavit. Responding authorities later discovered the second young girl dead and a 6-month-old girl who was unharmed.

The affidavit indicated Lizana was charged after his palm print matched a bloody one found at the scene.

In a statement, Batson said the girl's mother requested prosecutors OK the deal, avoiding a trial that had been scheduled for next month.

"This family deserves closure, this family deserves for this case to end today without reliving this horrific crime at a trial and the appeals that would result from it," he said, adding later: "There is not an appropriate punishment for this crime under Arkansas law. The defendant will die in prison as a result of this sentence. This case has been a continuous part of my thoughts and prayers since that night."

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.


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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 total comments

SUPERDUTY says... August 8, 2014 at 12:31 p.m.

I can tell you why....he has no regard for human life. We see this every day on the 6 o'clock news.

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ThinkFree says... August 8, 2014 at 4:26 p.m.

There are some things I like about the Arab world and one of them is public punishment. (another is Kabobs). In this scumbag's case I'd recommend public flogging every day for a week, followed by a public hanging.

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Jfish says... August 8, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.

Can you imagine the type of animal it takes to kill a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old in cold blood? And some will still argue that we don't need the death penalty to remove animals like this one from our society.

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LR1955 says... August 8, 2014 at 10 p.m.

Draw & Quarter

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LSS says... August 9, 2014 at 7:09 a.m.

HE KILLED TWO LITTLE GIRLS!!!! Our justice system is broken. WHEN are we going to stand up to our lawmakers - and this includes our governor, and DEMAND they enact the Death Penalty and not allow this silly dance of plea bargains. This is why we continue to have dirt bags like this roaming the streets and our prisons are full. We don't need more prisons!!! If we would start killing them off, we wouldn't have these issues. Next time you vote, find out where your candidate stands on this issue! And get these wishy washy liberal judges OUT OF OFFICE!!!

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