HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Lawyers for one of two men accused in a 2018 double murder, that included the beheading of a 13-year-old girl, are asking a Madison County court to set a hearing for his plea agreement.
Israel Palomino’s lawyers say in a court filing that the prosecution has offered him a plea deal reducing his charge from capital murder to two counts of murder and he is prepared to accept that plea.
The defense filing asks Madison County Circuit Judge Ruth Ann Hall to set a hearing date for the plea.
The filing says the plea was discussed at a hearing on Sept. 7, but the court has not ruled on the proposed plea. The case remains set for a Dec. 5 trial.
Palomino and Yoni Aguilar, are both accused in the deaths of Oralia Mendoza and her granddaughter Mariah Lopez in June 2018.
The bodies were found at separate locations in Owens Crossroads.
Madison County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Stacy Rutherford testified at a preliminary hearing in July 2018 that the murders were related to Mendoza’s ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel and that Lopez was beheaded after witnessing Mendoza being stabbed, according to AL.com.
Prosecutors had previously indicated they planned to seek the death penalty for both Palomino and Aguilar.
Aguilar has a trial set for May 1.
Lawyers in the case have been under a gag order in the case since July 2018.