No death penalty for accused murderer
by TP staff
Nov 05, 2012 | 5247 views | 5 5 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Prosecutors will announce in court Wednesday, Nov. 4, that the death penalty is no longer an option against a 25-year-old man accused of killing a woman at the Hacienda Inn in July.

Stephen Andrew Carreiro, of Tracy, was indicted Monday, Oct. 31, by a San Joaquin County Superior Court grand jury on felony charges of first-degree murder, elder abuse and resisting arrest.

Carreiro allegedly attacked 62-year-old Lalitaben Patel and a second woman on July 7 at the 639 W. 11th St. motel at around 7:10 p.m.

The murder charge has four enhancements — rape, burglary, sodomy and rape with a foreign object — while the charge of elder abuse has an enhancement of committing a violent crime against a vulnerable person.

Enhancements are different crimes allegedly committed during the homicide and they will allow prosecutors to seek life in prison for Carreiro.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa said he will notify the court during a hearing in Stockton on Wednesday that his office will not seek the death penalty against Carreiro.

San Joaquin County District Attorney James Willett decides which cases will be prosecuted with the death penalty as an option, according to Testa.

On Friday, Nov. 2, Testa said that the decision was made after “considering the wishes of the (victim’s) family,” and because Carriero has no prior felony convictions, his young age and the mental condition post traumatic stress disorder from which he suffers.

“We are still going to seek the maximum punishment for the crime which will be life without parole,” Testa said.

Carriero is being represented by Andrew Quinn, a court-appointed public defender.

According to police reports, when officers arrived, they located and arrested Carreiro following an alleged struggle. Officers then found the victim "adjacent to the office of the motel.”

Patel was pronounced dead at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital at 8:17 p.m., according to Tracy police reports.

Carreiro was taken to Sutter Tracy and treated for undisclosed injuries the night of the alleged attack and was transported to San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp the morning of July 8.

He is scheduled to appear in San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Department 23.

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or

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November 06, 2012
My first gut reaction was that this case was a death penalty case for sure. But they cited why they are not going for it and one of the reasons was "considering the wishes of the victims family". So there must be more to this and if the victims family is OK with it, then so am I. Just make sure this guy NEVER gets out. Life without parole.
November 05, 2012
Is it because of cost?

NPR had a segment about the rising costs attributed to inmates on death row, filing countless number of appeals.

So, instead of fixing the appeals process, some have decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Meaning, they gave up on the death penalty because of cost. Seems they would rather just pay for three meals and daily meds (as long as we don't have to pay for a court appointed attorney).

Ultimately the justice system in general?

Wasn't there a program where you get paid for fixing roads and if you earn enough money you can pay for your own attourney?

And if you try to escape. Well...
November 05, 2012
This is BS. PTSD made this guy do all these violent sexual things and burglary? No way. This guy should get the death penalty, no doubt in my mind. He's evil.
November 05, 2012
You are so right, why even chance this guy could do anything like this again, even in prison he will be a danger, to other inmates and especially to prison staff. Geez', I almost started feeling sorry for him, yeah right!!!
May 05, 2013
I deployed with him to Iraq 06-07, and while I am not familiar enough with the case itself and won't say my opinion of him and the charges, I do know the toll that war takes on a person.

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