Murder Conspirator Gets Two Life Sentences

David Lee

FORT WORTH (CN) —A former Mexican policeman and private investigator was sentenced Tuesday to two life sentences in federal prison for stalking an alleged Gulf Cartel attorney and U.S. informant who was murdered in broad daylight at a Dallas-area shopping center.

Jesus Gerardo Ledezma Cepeda, 60, of Mexico, was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences. He was convicted in May of interstate stalking and conspiracy to commit murder for hire, in the death of Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa.

Guerrero was shot dead in front of his wife as he sat in his car at Southlake Town Center in May 2013. The shooter and getaway driver remain at large. Ledezma was not accused of being the shooter.

Ledezma is the third and final defendant sentenced in the case. His cousin, Jose Luis Cepeda Cortes, 60, of Edinburg, was sentenced last week to two concurrent life sentences plus 20 years.

Cepeda acted as an interpreter in the operation to find Guerrero, helping to get rental cars and perform record searches.

Ledezma’s son, Jesus Gerardo Ledezma Campano, 33, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after taking a plea deal and testifying against his co-defendants.

The defendants said the hit was ordered and bankrolled by Beltran Leyva Cartel boss Rodolfo Villarreal Hernandez, known as El Gato, as revenge for the death of his father.

U.S. Attorney John R. Parker said the sentences “reflect the horrific and heinous nature” of the crimes.

“These three men methodically hunted down their intended victim through several states, in and out of Mexico, and over several months for the sole purpose of facilitating his execution,” Parker said in a statement. “On the day of the murder, once they ensured the gunman knew the victim’s location, Ledezma Cepeda and Ledezma Campano stood callously by while the victim was shot multiple times in broad daylight, with the victim’s wife and dozens of shoppers nearby.”