A woman who conspired to set up an attack on a man who was brutally stabbed to death last year in a Paso Robles motel received a sentence of 15 years to life in state prison Thursday.
Jennifer Velten, 29, of Paso Robles was sentenced by Judge John Trice in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. Trice called the murder a stark example of the destructive effects of methamphetamine use.
Last month, Velten entered a plea of guilty to murder in the Aug. 22, 2011, killing of Robert Uyeno.
Velten was among four people charged with the killing of Uyeno. Two others — Alberto “Pancho” Fierros and Tabatha Brown — also have admitted roles in the crime and await sentencing.
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A fourth defendant, John Wesley Barrett, has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial. Court documents show Barrett has a low IQ and developmental disability.
Trice said Velten had such a profound drug addiction that she was willing to “sell herself.” Each of the four people accused and Uyeno were using meth at the time of the homicide, officials said.
According to a search warrant filed by the Paso Robles Police Department, the defendants claimed that Uyeno had locked women in his room and raped them; however, Uyeno had no local record of any sex crime.
The group’s initial plan was to beat up Uyeno and steal his drugs, according to evidence gathered by police.Velten sent a text message to Uyeno saying she wanted to party with him in his room at the Farmhouse Motel in Paso Robles, according to the warrant.
Velten then sent a text summoning the others. Once inside the room, Barrett held Uyeno while Fierros pummeled him in the face and stomach with his fists for about two minutes, Barrett told investigators.
After the assault, Velten stole lottery tickets and meth. Velten and Fierros later returned to the room, and Barrett told police he heard one of them say later that Fierros had sliced the man’s throat.
Brown told police that Fierros told her after the incident, “Now you know what kind of man I am.”
Patrick Fisher, Velten’s attorney, called the story “sad” outside court but said he felt that Deputy District Attorney Eric Dobroth handled the case appropriately, offering a fair resolution under the circumstances in the plea negotiations.