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Murder Trial Due To Begin
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A Riverbank woman accused of hiring a hitman and helpers to kill her husband is due back in court Monday for rescheduling of a trial following a recent postponement, said a Stanislaus County detective involved with the case.

A Crossroads resident, Maria Guadalupe Leon, 42, is accused of murder and conspiring to commit murder in the shooting of her husband Martin Leon, 40, in his Etherington Court driveway as he left for work early on April 29 of 2005.

His body was found lying beside his yellow pickup truck after three shots rang out near 5:45 a.m. and a vehicle parked across the street drove out of the neighborhood in a hurry.

Of four other defendants, the driver of the getaway vehicle, Eved Vireles Romero, 20, of Olivehurst pleaded no contest to first-degree murder on Friday and faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, said Detective Mark Nuno.

The others reportedly involved are identified as Jose Angel Gaona, 29, of Riverbank, Luis Manuel Penaloza, 26, of Oakdale and a trigger man who has not been caught and is identified only as "Negro." They face murder charges and a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.