FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Russellville man facing a capital murder charge in connection to a 2005 shooting death has agreed to a plea deal, allowing him to be released from prison immediately.
46-year-old Vincente Soto was released on August 9, after having been incarcerated on capital murder charges for over five years. He was extradited from Mexico in 2017 after authorities spent 12 years searching for him.
On August 8, Soto agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. As part of the plea deal, he was granted time served.
Soto is accused of murdering 31-year-old Dioncio Bahena at a Franklin County mobile home park in 2005, while Bahena was said to have been sitting in a blue Ford Taurus.
According to authorities at the time of the incident, they believed a “lover’s triangle” led to the shooting death. Investigators said Soto and Bahena got into an altercation over a 16-year-old girl, who lived with Soto at the time.
In the plea agreement, a note from Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said the offer to lessen the charge was based on the “lack of cooperation, memory loss,” and not being able to locate to interview the primary witness in the case.
Rushing also noted that multiple other witnesses had either died, were unable to provide helpful information, their stories had changed, or were non-credible due to changing their testimony.
The District Attorney added that the State did consult with the victim’s family before the charge was reduced.