Dating a gay police officer for friendship dating and romance photo personals

The prosecutor had asked for a second life sentence to send a message to other law enforcement officers that "that there will be a ton of bricks dropped" if they break the laws they are sworn to uphold.

COLUMBIA, Missouri (Court TV) -- A jury found a Missouri patrolman guilty Saturday of killing a gay college student who had talked about revealing their sexual affair to the police chief.

Steven Rios, a married junior officer in this university town's police force, was convicted of the first-degree murder of his lover, Jesse Valencia, 23.

The finding by the nine-woman, three-man panel carries an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole for Rios, 28.

Jurors also recommended an additional, largely symbolic sentence of 10 years for the charge of armed criminal action related to Rios' use of a knife in the crime.

Their relationship included trysts at Valencia's apartment when Rios was in uniform and supposed to be patrolling the neighborhood.

The history and political science major told classmates he suspected his new lover was married and planned to confront him.

He also wanted Rios to fix the ticket from the party and suggested to his best friend he would tell the chief of his "little secret" if the ticket didn't go away."He had given this boy the power to ruin his police career, his political aspirations and his marriage," special prosecutor Morley Swingle told jurors in his closing argument Friday.

Later, as a defense lawyer tried to persuade the jury against imposing a second life sentence, Rios began crying and stared longingly toward his wife, who was weeping in the spectator's gallery.

Libby Rios, who took the witness stand and steadfastly maintained her husband's innocence, cried out "I love you" as marshals escorted her husband from the courtroom."I love you," he whispered back.

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