PHOENIX – A man has pleaded no contest to a murder charge in the beheading of a man in Arizona who police say stole drugs from a Mexican drug cartel.
Crisantos Moroyoqui-Yocupicio made the plea Monday to second-degree murder in the death of 38-year-old Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy at an apartment in Chandler on Oct. 10, 2010.
Moroyoqui-Yocupicio faces 10 to 16 years in prison when he is sentenced May 8.
Police believe Cota-Monroy's gruesome killing was intended to send a message that anyone who betrays the traffickers will get the same treatment.
The case has been cited as an extreme example of Mexican cartel violence spilling over the border and also factors into the state's contentious immigration debate.