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Student Emily Sander, AKA Porn Model Zoey Zane, Gets Justice; Killer Israel Mireles Convicted

(CBS)
(AP Photo/Mike Hutmacher)
(AP Photo/El Dorado Police)
EL DORADO, Kan. (CBS/AP) Two-and-a-half years after the naked body of Butler Community College student Emily Sander was found on the side of the road and her secret life as porn star Zoey Zane was revealed, a jury has convicted her killer.

Photo: Emily Sander as Zoey Zane.

It took little more than an hour for the jury to decide that Israel Mireles, 26, murdered the 18-year-old. An aggravated sodomy count was dropped by Butler County District Judge David Ricke, who said it was part of the capital murder charge.

Family and friends of Sander cried after the verdicts were read. Mireles showed no reaction as he was led out of the courtroom.

The trial almost didn't happen at all.

Photo: Israel Mireles testifying during his murder trial in a Butler, Kan., court Friday, Feb. 12, 2010.

Mireles was caught in Mexico shortly after the murder. But it took 18 months and a promise he would not face the death penalty to bring him back to the States.

During his trial, Mirales had trouble explaining why authorities found a bloody knife and clothes at the house of his girlfriend's grandmother. He also could not explain why he wrapped Sander's dead body in a blanket, put it in his car, and dumped her on the side of a road.

Photo: Emily Sander.

When the prosecutor pressed him, "Does that make any sense to you?"

Mireles replied, "None of this makes any sense to me."

According to Mireles' version of the story, he left a so-called mystery man in a motel room where he'd gone with Sander after a night of underage drinking, and sex and found her dead when he returned. He said he went on the run because he figured authorities would blame him for her death.

"I was scared," he said. "I figured the first person they'd blame would be me."

He was right. Mireles faces life in prison without parole when sentenced March 31.

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
August 18, 2009 - Porn Model Murder: Will Zoey Zane Get a Trial?
June 29, 2009 - Porn Model Murder: The Secret Life Of Zoey Zane
  • Neil Katz

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