Drug-related murder draws 4-year sentence

A man accused of participating in a drug-related killing was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Scott Rash sentenced Julian Zepeda, 26, for his role in the 2011 shooting death of Javier Bejarano, 22.

Zepeda and two other men were accused of killing Bejarano in a drug-deal gone bad. Court documents said the men arranged to meet a buyer who wanted 4 pounds of marijuana. Instead, Bejarano showed up and attempted to steal the drugs.

Zepeda then shot and killed Bejarano in a fight.

Zepeda pleaded guilty in June to negligent homicide and conspiracy to transport for sale more than 2 pounds of marijuana.

After the prison term, Zepeda will serve seven years of probation.

Patrick McNamara

Outlaw Saloon

brawler gets probation

A defendant in the multiperson brawl at a north side bar has been sentenced to probation.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields sentenced Michael Thomas Russ, 31, to two years of probation for participating in the February brawl at the Outlaw Saloon, 1302 W. Roger Road.

Russ said he was ashamed of his actions, which had affected every aspect of his life.

“It was a very cowardly act,” Russ said at the sentencing.

Russ was one of nine people arrested after the fight at the bar, where three people were attacked. One of the victims went to the hospital with minor injuries after the fight.

In addition to probation, Russ was ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution.

Patrick McNamara

— Patrick McNamara