Heartless Murderer Gets Life Plus 35 Years

     SAN FRANCICO (CN) – A California pot farmer who killed a worker he didn’t want to pay was sentenced to life in federal prison plus 35 years.
     Here is a transcript of closing arguments in the trial of Mikal Xylon Wilde, 33, and the tale, as told in court documents and by the Department of Justice.
     Wilde hired three workers, two of them from Guatemala, to plant and tend more than 1,500 marijuana plants on 800 acres in Humboldt County he’d bought with two others for $1.5 million.
     As the plants matured, Wilde gave the workers guns to protect the crop. After two months, Wilde was broke and in debt. (Marijuana matures in an average of three to four months.)
     When Wilde said he couldn’t afford to gas up the truck his crew used to water the crop, and they would have to do it by hand, they asked to be paid or they would leave.
     He promised to pay them and to find them a ride back to Sacramento. He took their guns and returned on Aug. 25, 2010, and shot them.
     He shot Roberto Juarez-Madrid three times and hunted him down, killing him with a contact wound to the back of the head.
     Fernando Lopez-Paz survived a shot to the face, hiding in the woods all night until he found help the next morning.
     Christopher Bigelow also fled into the woods and hid until he was found by a jogger.
     The Justice Department said in a statement that Wilde had hired the immigrants “in the belief that they were expendable, not in a position to complain and that they might not be missed if they disappeared forever into the woods of Humboldt County.” Wilde “preyed on their status and viewed them as free labor that could not stand up to him.”
     The jury convicted him on March 2 of first-degree murder, murder in the course of a narcotics offense, conspiracy to commit marijuana offenses, two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence or narcotics trafficking offense and other charges.
     U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen sentenced him on June 3.
     Humboldt County Sheriffs did not return a call for comment by press time.

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