Man Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison for Alexandria Playground Death

A 23-year-old man will spend 45 years in prison for the murder of a man whose body was found on a popular Alexandria, Virginia, playground in 2015.

Alvaro Saenz Castro was sentenced Thursday to 60 years in prison with 15 years suspended for the death of 24-year-old Jose Luis Perez Ferman. 

According to the prosecution, Perez-Ferman was lured to Beverly Park on Nov. 8, 2015 by Leidi Granados Gutierrez. 

Court documents say Grandados Gutierrez and Castro were dating at the time. When Castro found messages between Grandados Gutierrez and the victim, he told her that she needed to bring Perez-Ferman to the park for him to "talk it out."

When the victim arrived at the park, Castro and Reinaldo Membreno Portillo were waiting for him, the prosecution said. 

Castro told police that he originally wanted to tell the victim to stop talking to his girlfriend, but he "lost control." Castro said he struck the victim with a small knife and machete. 

According to court documents, Portillo struck the victim with a machete as well. 

Perez-Ferman's body was found in the park the next day under a playground bridge at Beverley Park. Prosecutors say the attack was so brutal, Perez-Ferman was nearly decapitated. 

Grandados Gutierrez was tried as an adult and convicted of compounding a felony. She was sentenced to commitment with the Department of Juvenile Justice and given a suspended adult sentence following her release, prosecutors say. 

Portillo was sentenced to 30 years in prison in July. 

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