September 24, 2012. Jury returns two verdicts finding Mario Guerrero-Cordero guilty of Murder in the First Degree for the death of Miguel Cano-Basurto and guilty of the Attempted Murder of Hector Casillas.
On July 4, 2008, Mario Guerrero-Cordero shot and killed Miguel Cano-Basurto and shot Hector Casillas injuring Mr. Casillas. The shooting of these two individuals took place at a car repair shop located at 1418 East Madison in Des Moines and operated by Miguel Cano-Basurto and his brother Manuel Cano. After the shooting, Mario Guerrero-Cordero fled the scene, disposed of the gun, a nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol, and then fled this country to Mexico. Assistant County Attorney Jaki Livingston and Des Moines Police Investigator David Seybert, with the assistance of Miguel Cano-Basurto’s family, began the lengthy and tedious process of obtaining the appropriate warrant and providing it to Mexican government authorities so that Mario Guerrero-Cordero could be extradited back to the United States. Mexican authorities were successful in locating Guerrero-Cordero and he was arrested and returned to Iowa earlier this year to stand trial for the events that occurred on July 4, 2008.
The trial in this matter commenced on September 17, 2012, in Polk County District Court with the Honorable Scott Rosenberg presiding. Friends of the victim and relatives of both the victim and the defendant testified regarding their recollection of the events of the day of the shooting. They unequivocally identified the defendant as the person who shot Miguel Cano as he sat in a chair visiting with friends and relatives. Hector Casillas positively identified the defendant as the person who shot him twice, once in the foot while he was trying to escape from the defendant and once while he was on the ground after falling from the first shot that hit him. Casillas described how the defendant fired shots at him until he ran out of bullets.
Evidence was presented over four days and the case was submitted to the jury late in the day on September 21, 2012. In the early afternoon of September 24, 2012, the jury returned two verdicts finding the defendant guilty of Murder in the First Degree for the death of Miguel Cano-Basurto and guilty of the Attempted Murder of Hector Casillas. Judge Rosenberg set sentencing for November 9, 2012. Murder in the First Degree carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole and Attempted Murder carries a twenty five year sentence with a requirement that the defendant must serve seventy percent of that sentence before being eligible for parole. This matter was prosecuted by Assistant Polk County Attorney Jaki Livingston and Polk County Attorney John Sarcone.