Murder Investigation Continues

Jose Sandoval, one of the men convicted of killing five people at a Norfolk bank in 2002, pleaded guilty Monday to two other murders and was given two life sentences.

Jose Sandoval is already on death row for the bank slayings.

He admitted in Madison County District Court Monday to killing Robert Pearson and Travis Lundell -- both apparently one-time friends -- in 2002, months before the botched U.S. bank robbery.

Sandoval said in court that his conversion to Christianity compelled him to come forward.

Madison County Attorney Joe Smith said Sandoval led law enforcement to Pearson's body.

Lundell was reported missing in August 2002, and his body was found in March 2003. Police said he had been strangled and placed in a shallow grave near a secluded lake southeast of Norfolk. His murder was linked to Sandoval, Erick Vela, Jorge Galindo and Gabriel Rodriguez during the investigation into the U.S. Bank murders.

Separate juries found Vela and Galindo eligible for the death penalty in part because they believed the evidence showed the two helped kill Lundell, giving them histories of violent crime.

Pearson disappeared in January 2002. His body was found in a shallow grave on land west of Madison one year ago.

The county attorney says his investigation into Pearson's murder continues and more arrests are likely.


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