SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has overturned the murder convictions of a Santa Fe man for killing his pregnant teenage girlfriend and her father in 2009.
The court on Monday [auth] ordered a new trial for Marino Leyba Jr., who was sentenced to at least 60 years in prison for killing Sarah Lovato and her father, Bennie Lovato Sr.
The justices said the 17-year-old girlfriend’s diary was hearsay evidence improperly used during the trial. The diaries described the girlfriend’s fears about Leyba and an incident in which he hit her.
Leyba testified at trial that he shot the two victims in self-defense, and thought the girlfriend’s father had a gun.
The court also overturned an aggravated burglary conviction. Leyba didn’t appeal an evidence tampering conviction.