Salinas gets 40 years for murder, burglary

Published 2:49 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

Roman A.Salinas apologized to the family for the murder of an elderly Fort Deposit woman before being sentenced Friday to 40 years in a state penitentiary.

Appearing before Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell in Hayneville, Salinas pleaded guilty to murder and burglary first degree in connection with the death of 68-year-old Clydie Mae Thomas of 105 Bishop St. A charge of receiving stolen property was dismissed by the state, according to court appointed defense attorney Richard White of Montgomery.

Salinas, now 21 and originally from Montgomery, was 19 at the time of his arrest on June 9, 2011, according to Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams.

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He waived his right to trial by jury and appeal, according to court documents.

Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer recused herself from the case, which was handled by Assistant District Attorney Steve Townes, due to prior representation of Salinas, she said.

Lovell sentenced Salinas to concurrent 40-year-sentences for the murder and the burglary first charge, according to court documents. Also, according to the documents, she required Salinas to pay a $500 fine, attorney’s fees, court costs and $100 to the crime victims fund for the burglary first charge, a $500 fine, court costs, $263 in restitution and $100 to the crime victims fund for the murder charge.

Melissa Thomas, a daughter of the victim, said her mother was “a good person.” Looking at the defendant she said, “I just want to know why Mr. Salinas… You hurt a lot of people.”

Shainta Little, another daughter, said her mother gave Salinas something to drink and fed him. “If you wanted money, she would have given you money… She wasn’t a person that no one cared about,” she said.

“I want to apologize,” Salinas said. He said he had a job he should have continued.

“I ask you to forgive me … I’ve got to live with this the rest of my life,” he said.