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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

His children's voices

Simon Rios gets four life terms for killing his family, and Prosecutor Karen Richards unloads:

Rios himself spoke at length Monday, sobbing through his stories, through his claims at finding God, his pleas for forgiveness and his desire to see his “princesses” someday again.

He could offer no reason why he did what he did. After Richards said he would never see his children in heaven but instead would join “the devil in hell,” that she wished he had been “man enough” to kill himself as he tried to do after calling 911 the night of his family's killings and that she hoped he sees his daughter's faces as he squeezed their throats shut every time he closes his eyes, Rios said, “God bless you.”

Richards was also angry that Rios was receiving medication to treat depression in jail, and likely would in prison, as well. According to his lawyer, public defender Michelle Kraus, Rios had been having nightmares and hearing his children's voices. She said for the first few months he spent in Allen County Jail, it was a challenge to keep up his will to live.

“That to me seems patently unfair,” Richards said during her news conference. “His depression is situational. He wouldn't be depressed if he hadn't killed his family.”

I have to admit the idea of Rios not getting his medication and being tormented by nightmares of his daughers for the rest of his days has its appeal. Even if we think there might be a forgiving God who will let Rios see "his princesses" again some day, it still seems perverse to do so much to make his remaining years on this plane as comfortable as possible. He should keep hearing his children's voices.


tim zank
Tue, 10/02/2007 - 10:50am

If ever there was a case for capitol punishment, this is it. I don't think he should HEAR, SEE or SMELL anything ever again.

Bob G.
Tue, 10/02/2007 - 2:58pm

Richards couldn't have been ALL that concerned or the PLEA DEAL would have NEVER gotten "on the table" in the first place!

Seemed a lot more like placating to the huddled masses that really WANTED this bane to humanity offed!

Will ANY of us get OUR "share" of his "lifetime support" money back where it will do the MOST GOOD?
(I don't think so)

Granted killing him only ONCE doesn't balance the scales of justice....not with FIVE deaths on the other side, but we "could" revive him and do it over FOUR MORE TIMES.

In THAT...there IS balance.

Seems the prosecution is there for the "wishes" of a few versus the JUSTICE due society, including the deceased.

Anyone for a NEW D.A.?
(we need a "Shark"...not a guppy)


tim zank
Tue, 10/02/2007 - 3:22pm

Been watchin' "Shark" BG??

Phil Marx
Tue, 10/02/2007 - 5:27pm

I think that there was a very real chance that Rios would have been declared incompetent, and thus sentenced to a mental health hospital. After a few years, he might have miraculously regained his senses and thus walked free.

This is by no means a blanket endorsement of Richards, but choosing life in prison over a few years in a hospital for Rios seems like a wise decision.

Bob G.
Wed, 10/03/2007 - 7:46am

Bowing (read caving in) to the wishes of a few and negating the overwhelming desire by a lot more people to see this guy dead seems to be placing the right shoe on the wrong foot.

Then again, some other lifer might shank him in jail...we can but hope.


Phil Marx
Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:55am

The family of Rios wife attended the sentencing and said that they forgive him for his sins. Richards, on the other hand, said she hopes he burns in h--- only after after suffering many long and tortuous years in prison.

It seems pretty clear that Richard's decision was not based upon what she wanted, but rather upon a realistic assesment of what she could get. She may have wanted him to fry, but realized that if she pusued this he very likely would receive less than even life in prison.

As for the shank - Remember Dahmer?

Bob G.
Thu, 10/04/2007 - 8:43am

Remember it ALL too well, Phil...