Judge denies guilty plea
by Joel Danoy
Apr 29, 2013 | 3592 views | 4 4 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STOCKTON — A Tracy man accused of killing a 62-year-old woman at the Hacienda Inn in July was ready to plead guilty to all charges and begin a life sentence, but was rebuffed by the judge and deputy district attorney Monday, April 29.

Stephen Andrew Carreiro, 26, appeared in San Joaquin County Superior Court on felony charges of murder, elder abuse, committing a violent crime on the vulnerable and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.

Carreiro is also charged with rape, sodomy and burglary during the commission of a murder.

He is accused of killing Lalitaben Patel and attacking a second woman at the motel, 639 W. 11th St., around 7 p.m. July 7.

The court on Monday expected to receive a doctor’s report assessing Carreiro’s mental state at the time of the alleged murder, but that report wasn’t ready.

Carreiro pleaded guilty by reason of insanity during an earlier hearing.

However, during the Monday hearing, Carreiro’s court-appointed attorney, Andrew Quinn, said his client wanted to plead guilty to the charges and begin serving prison time — which would be life in prison without parole.

Quinn also said that Carreiro was ready to make an agreement with the prosecution in which he would plead guilty to second-degree murder and serve a life sentence.

The prosecution has already declared it will not seek the death penalty.

“Mr. Carreiro is under the belief that he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” Quinn said, “and would just as soon start serving that time now.”

Judge Bernard Garber urged Carreiro to reconsider the idea, and noted that he wouldn’t accept such pleas until the mental evaluation is complete.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa indicated he would not talk about a possible plea agreement until the evaluation was submitted to the court.

Garber set the next hearing for 9 a.m. May 28 in the Stockton branch courthouse.

“Some times you don’t want to rush these things,” Garber said. “You want the doctors to have time to do what they to do. So, waiting four weeks in the scheme of things isn’t that long.”

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or jdanoy@tracypress.com.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 30, 2013
This guy isn’t going anywhere. It’s best to be patient and make sure that sometime in the future some judge doesn’t rule that he should be retried or released on a technicality because the courts didn’t allow his mental evaluation be finished before accepting his guilty plea or that he didn’t have proper legal representation.

It’s frustrating but we’ve seen that happen several times in the past. I would think that would be the worst case scenario for the victim’s family would be to have to go through this again.

April 30, 2013
Agreed, let's just drag the case on and delay the inevitable. Last time I checked the county courthouse's were pinched for money, so let's delay this so we can slow down the many other cases that could be heard and spend more money when the guy was caught red handed!!! He ready to admit it was him and go to jail, so send him!!!!!!!!!
April 30, 2013
Wonder what the court is spending on his mental state review, I think it's pretty obvious, he is not mentally stable at all, duh!!! If a dog does something vicious they are often put down, then they don't do it again!!!
April 30, 2013
Yeah tell that to the family. "Sorry, We don't want to rush sending your family's members rapist and killer to prison for life, ok?" OK. STUPID.

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