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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cruz guilty plea accepted, will enter as juvenile offender

Monday, February 26, 2001

Isaac Cruz, 15, of Storm Lake had his plea of guilty accepted by the State of Iowa and will enter the Iowa criminal system as a juvenile offender, according to recently filed court papers.

Cruz was originally charged with Rene Zarate, 17, in the stabbing death of Jorge Ramos, 47, of Storm Lake. Zarate was found guilty of first degree murder by a Buena Vista County jury earlier this month.

Cruz entered a plea agreement with the state last December and pled guilty to the lesser charge of burglary in the second degree in exchange for testimony against Zarate.

With a youthful offender status, Cruz will continue to be supervised by the juvenile court until he turns 18. At that time his status will be re-evaluated by Iowa District Court. He could either serve time or be released.

Zarate will be sentenced March 5. He faces a mandatory life sentence.