Judge: "This was nothing less than a cold blooded, senseless murder."

Posted at 12:43 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 14:43:47-05

A Nampa man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing another man last June. Jesus Avila, 31, was sentenced by Judge George Southworth on a first-degree murder charge. 

Avila was sentenced to life in prison, with the first 25 years fixed. The judge also ordered Avila to pay fines and court costs of $500 as well as $300 in reimbursement costs for his public defender. 

Avila was arrested in late June in Yakima, Washington on a felony warrant -- issued for his arrest following the murder of 25-year-old Ricardo Keith in Nampa about a week earlier.

Investigators say Avila got out of his vehicle near the intersection of Florida Avenue and Ivy Street, and shot Keith while he was sitting inside his own vehicle. Avila then fled the scene. 

Keith died a short time later from a single gunshot wound to the head, officials said. A female passenger who was also inside Keith’s vehicle at the time was not injured. 

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Southworth stated, “It’s quite obvious that Mr. Avila constitutes a real substantial danger to society. This was nothing less than a cold-blooded senseless murder. I understand that there are gang relationships possibly involved; a firearm when the defendant wasn’t even to possess firearms; (and there were) drugs involved -- that’s what happens when these things combine.”

“Mindless acts of violence like the one Mr. Avila committed have no business in our society, particularly when the result in the loss of an innocent life,” said Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. “This sentence will ensure he’s behind bars for a very, very long time.”