Friday, December 1, 2023
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Family speaks after judge sentences 18-year-old to 10 years for killing 3 young men

Judge Chris Morton, who presides over the 230th Criminal District Court, has been the focus of numerous Breaking Bond reports due to his track record of granting multiple bonds to violent offenders, some of whom later became murder suspects.

The tragic loss of 22-year-old Eric Orduna has left his family devastated, and they feel that instead of receiving justice, they were dealt a blow by Judge Chris Morton. Ahmedal Modawi, an 18-year-old, pleaded guilty to killing Eric Orduna, 18-year-old Fnan Measho, and 23-year-old Nick Rodriquez. All four victims worked as valets, and Modawi was recklessly performing dangerous maneuvers in the parking lot when a police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

In an attempt to evade the police, Modawi accelerated at a high speed and collided with the other victims’ vehicles. Eric bore the brunt of the impact and was tragically dismembered in the crash. Rose Orduna, Eric’s mother, expressed her anguish, stating that Eric acted as a shield for Fnan and Nick during the collision, reported Fox26houston.

The case was scheduled for last week, but Judge Morton abruptly left the court due to a personal incident involving his son. Despite this, the outcome remained unchanged, much to the disappointment of the Orduna family. Rose Orduna shared her frustration, emphasizing that while Judge Morton’s son was unharmed, their beloved Eric was taken away from them forever.

Debra Argueta, Eric’s aunt, and godmother, recalls Judge Morton shedding tears during her victim impact statement. She expressed her disbelief and disappointment, expecting a sentence of at least 50 or 30 years for Modawi, rather than the 10-year term imposed. To the family, it felt like a disrespectful slap in their faces.

Stephanie Guerra, Eric’s aunt, echoed the sentiments of her family, deeming the sentence as ridiculous and unfair. She believes that Modawi essentially got away with murder, as 10 years is an inadequate punishment for the lives lost. Guerra also expressed her frustration that Judge Morton felt Modawi deserved a second chance at life, while Eric, Fnan, and Nick no longer have any chances.

Despite the District Attorney’s office recommending a 35-year sentence, Modawi could potentially be released after serving just 5 years, leaving the family further disillusioned with the justice system.

Paul joined the Manchester Evening News in 2004 and Tosbos in 2022. A senior reporter, he's experienced in crime and court reporting - and also holds the defense portfolio.


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