Plea agreement has family of a murder victim fuming

FRESNO, Calif.

Portions of 27-year-old Maria Padilla's body were found in the backyard of a West Central Fresno home shortly after her family reported her missing.

Then last year, more of her remains were found in a trash bag on a rural property in Fresno County.

The suspects will be spending 15 years in prison for Maria Padilla's brutal murder. Friday Maria's family said the punishment is way too lenient for the way the mother of two met her end.

Blanca Padilla forgives the men who are answering for her daughter's murder, but she completely disagrees with the 15 year deal the suspects made with prosecutors.

"Yo pienso que ellos merecian muerte-no 15 anos o 16 anos como ellos estan dándole," which translates to "I think they deserve death-not 15 years or 16 years like they are giving them."

Alexander Harwell and Lorenzo Sepulveda are accused of murdering Maria, cutting up her body and discarding it in several locations.

Family members say prosecutors had a solid case that included a confession of the crime to Maria's sister.

"I mean all the evidence is there. I talked to Alex myself and he told me he killed my sister I mean it couldn't get any more obvious than that I didn't need a detective to tell me it was them, I already knew it was them, so I don't know why they are scared to go to trial," Olga Padilla said.

Maria's mother and sister say they are frustrated with the offer. They say they still live in fear and now worry one day about the suspects eventually being set free. They are still haunted by the manner Maria was killed.

"Ellos mataron a una person, no a un animal. Bueno o malos meremos una muerte digna-no como la que mi hija tuvo," which translates to "they killed a person they didn't kill an animal. Good or bad, we deserve a dignified death, not like the one my daughter got."

Prosecutors did have at least one hurdle to overcome, the key witness in the trial, a man named Dan Kruser was murdered last year and his body was found floating in the Colorado River.

He is a former business partner of Harwell's. The bag of Maria's bones was also found on his property.

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