Man Found Guilty Of Helping Triggerman In Riley Co. Killing

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Riley County jury has found a Manhattan man guilty of providing the gun used in a deadly shooting.

Domingo “Diablo” Soto, 42, was convicted Wednesday afternoon of Aiding and Abetting First Degree Murder for the part he played in the death of Steven Freel, 31.

The jury deliberated for about three hours before delivering a guilty verdict. Riley County District Court Judge Meryl Wilson presided over the trial.

Freel was shot and killed on a dirt road outside of Manhattan on December 6, 2011. Freel’s body was discovered the next morning by a passerby.

Soto admitted to lending his gun to the murder suspect, Michael Blake Layne, who sold drugs for Soto.

At the time of the murder, Layne was having a dispute with Steven Freel over some past robberies they had done together, according to detectives, and Layne asked Soto if he could borrow his pistol so he could kill Freel.

Prosecutors say Soto gave his gun to Layne, knowing that it would be used to murder him.

Soto told police he didn’t think Layne would actually go through with the killing when he gave him the weapon.

Soto was also found guilty of Possession of Cocaine With the Intent to Distribute, Possession of Methamphetamine With the Intent to Distribute and Possession of Marijuana.

Soto faces a mandatory life sentence. His sentencing has been set for December 17th at 3:30 PM.


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