Alleged MS-13 gang member found guilty of Bedford County capital murder in teen’s death

Kevin Soto-Bonilla could be sentenced to death

Kevin Soto-Bonilla was convicted of capital murder on Dec. 11, 2019
Kevin Soto-Bonilla was convicted of capital murder on Dec. 11, 2019 (WSLS)

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – A jury convicted Kevin Soto-Bonilla of multiple charges, including capital murder, on Wednesday.

These charges are connected with the 2017 murder of teenager Raymond Wood in Bedford County.

In addition to the capital murder charge, Soto-Bonilla was found guilty of abduction and gang participation. He was found not guilty of the robbery charge against him.

Kevin Soto-Bonilla was emotionless as the clerk read off that he is guilty of capital murder, abduction and gang participation.

The jury did not find him guilty of robbery.

In closing statements to the jury the commonwealth said Raymond Wood had something the MS-13 gang wanted, specifically marijuana.

The commonwealth said Soto-Bonilla wanted to sell drugs in Lynchburg and Wood was a rival.

Bedford county deputies found the Lynchburg teen’s mutilated body on Roaring Run Road in March 2017.

The commonwealth said Soto-Bonilla took pride in the killing and changed his nickname to “the butcher” after cutting off the teen’s right hand.

Soto-Bonilla’s co-defendants testified against him during the seven-day trial. His attorneys didn’t deny that their client was there, but wanted the jury to take a hard look at the robbery charge saying the commonwealth couldn’t prove Soto-Bonilla robbed Raymond Wood of his shoes, clothes and money.

“Unfortunately, he’s going to be defined by selling marijuana. It’s not the way he should be remembered, but the reality is Raymond Wood had something MS-13 wanted,” Wes Nance, Bedford commonwealth, attorney said.

“Was there any testimony of adduced to demonstrate that this defendant took those items from Raymond Wood?” Aaron Houchens, Soto-Bonilla defense attorney asked the jury.

The jury will come back at 9 a.m. Thursday to go over the sentence recommendation, which could be the death penalty.

About the Authors: