Convicted murderer granted retrial 18 years later, victim's fami - KPTV - FOX 12

Convicted murderer granted retrial 18 years later, victim's family never told

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The family of a murder victim claimed they were never notified of a retrial granted to the man responsible post-conviction.

Rafael Mora-Contreras was accused in the shooting death of Gonzalo Pizano Guzman.

The 20-year-old victim's body was found near Hagg Lake and his car was later found burned in 2000.

A jury convicted Mora-Contreras of murder and kidnapping in 2003 and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

However, Mora-Contreras appealed for a new trial citing inadequate counsel in November of last year and was granted a new trial by a judge 18 years after conviction.

The victim’s family said they were never told.

“Unfortunately, we were not considered in that decision and we are here now thinking to ourselves, "Why? Why did the VINE system fail us as the victims of this heinous crime that he committed 18 years ago,” the victim’s sister Marisol Pizano said.

The victim’s other sister Juana Pizano, told FOX 12 the frustration of having to go through a retrial for her brother’s death.

“My brother is gone, not going to be able to bring him back. This person was already convicted, but now here we are again at a retrial and I feel frustrated and upset and I want answers,” she said.

Mora-Contreras will be back in court on May 3rd.

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