Perez Enters Manslaughter Plea

A Tallahassee murder trial ends before it even begins as the defendant enters a last minute plea.

Thirty-six-year-old Raul Perez pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbing and killing Jason Orcutt.

Orcutt's badly decomposed body was found in the woods off North Monroe Street back in January 2006. Police were able to track shrimp in his stomach back to a local restaurant and ultimately to Perez.

Prosecutors say they agreed to a plea deal partly because the autopsy was inconclusive. "That's part of negotiations. Everybody gives up something, everybody gets something," said prosecutor Frank Allman. "We got a conviction, a guaranteed result and no appeal," he said.

"Fifteen years isn't enough, but you know, nothing would be. Nothing would bring him back so, I'm satisfied," the victim's mother, Patricia Orcutt, said after the hearing.

Before he was fingerprinted and led away, Perez apologized to Jason Orcutt's family, saying "I really am sorry."

Perez's attorney, Maria Suber, called the plea "just."

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