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DIGGING DEEPER: Family of murdered victim reacts to plea bargain

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TUCSON (KVOA) - A man who confessed to orchestrating the murder of 25-year-old Bernardo Marin is out of jail and walking the streets of Tucson.

Marin was shot and killed nearly two years ago in the parking lot of the BK's restaurant located at 12th Avenue and Wyoming Street.

Two men were arrested and charged with first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with a serious injury.

The Digging Deeper team spoke with the victim's family. They said they are outraged.

It was Nov. 23, 2019, when Marin and another man he was with were shot in the southside restaurant's parking lot.

Marin was shot four times. The other man shot once and survived.

Tucson police say Augustino Martinez was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault two months later.

Detectives did not have to far to go to arrest Martinez. He was sitting in the Pima County Jail on unrelated charges.

Also arrested and charged in Marin's alleged murder, is 33-year-old convicted felon, Alfredo Caballero.

While he did not pull the trigger, Caballero reportedly made sure the two men met him in the restaurant parking lot. That was where Martinez waited and shot the men in front of families.

On July 7, Caballero confessed to the crime and agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter.

The family was shocked when Judge Danelle Liwski modified the conditions of release for caballero and released him to the custody of pretrial services.

The family says while they agreed to the plea deal, they feel they were blindsided when he was released.

The family says the other victim who survived the shooting sits in the Pima County Jail on unrelated charges while the man who confessed to orchestrating the shooting is now walking the streets.

Caballero is set to return to court Aug. 4, but the exact details of the plea agreement are not known because a judge has ordered the plea agreement sealed.

The Digging Deeper team uncovered that just two months before the murder, Caballero was stopped by the Pima County Sheriff's Department and charged with driving with a suspended license and carrying a deadly weapon.

He's a convicted felon and is a prohibitive possessor. Those charges were dismissed on a motion/ request of the prosecutor.

The Digging Deeper team contacted the county attorney's office to find out why the plea agreement is sealed and why Caballero was allowed to be released despite having a lengthy criminal record.

They responded with the following statement.

"Regarding the above-referenced case, we are meeting later this week with the victim's family/representatives to discuss any concerns and/or issues. I cannot go into details about that meeting, but we are attempting to do everything we can to make sure that justice is served."

This is a meeting the family says they asked for.

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.

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