EL DORADO, Kan.—Israel Mireles, 26, the man who raped and murdered Emily Sander, an 18-year-old college student who also performed online as adult performer Zoey Zane, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Judge David Ricke sentenced the Mexican national Wednesday in a courtroom packed with law enforcement officers and Sander's family and friends, according to the Kansas City Star. Mireles' parents also were in attendance.
Mireles had been convicted Feb. 12 of the rape, sodomy and capital murder of Sander, whom he met in an El Dorado, Kan., bar in November 2007 and then brought back to his motel room. Her body was found six days later about 50 miles away. Mireles, who was a new employee at a restaurant near the motel, fled to Mexico following the killing but was quickly identified as a possible suspect after he didn’t show up for work and blood and signs of a struggle were found in his room.
It did not take long for authorities to track Mireles down at a relative's home in Melchor Muzquiz, Mexico, where he was arrested Dec. 19. The suspect fought extradition back to the United States, however, and was not returned to face trial until June 2009, after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. Mexico does not have a death penalty and commonly refuses to extradite murder suspects if execution is in play.
In Kansas, the only other sentence for capital murder is life without parole.