Suspect in ASU student's murder pleads guilty - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Suspect in ASU student's murder pleads guilty

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Louis Eugene Harper Louis Eugene Harper
Zachary Marco Zachary Marco
PHOENIX -

A man who robbed and shot an ASU student over his laptop and cell phone entered a guilty plea Monday.

Louis Harper pleaded guilty to first degree murder and armed robbery in the shooting death of ASU student Zachary Marco.

Marco was shot outside the Quadrangles Village apartment complex on October 17, 2010. An aspiring political science student, he was walking home from the library when he was robbed and shot.

Marco's laptop was later recovered, and it led police to his killers.

Harper is facing 15 years on the robbery count and 25 to life on the murder count. Sentencing is set for November 7.

Harper's accomplice, Marion Patterson, pleaded guilty to second degree murder in July.

Zachary Marco's dad Daniel says he's been waiting for this day for 2 years. He says that the moment he heard "guilty," he felt like he could finally breathe easier.

"In this case there was sort of a release of tension and emotion on my inside, my chest kind of opened a little bit," said Daniel Marco. "The promise that I made my son, that my family made my son, is that we would get these guys and we did."

By taking the plea deal, Harper avoids a trial and the possibility of the death penalty. Marco says his family accepted the deal because they are now able to avoid years of court proceedings.

Now, Marco and his family can try to move forward, though it won't be easy. Everywhere he looks are reminders of his son.

"I look at today's proceedings and sentencings coming up as scar tissue over the wound, because the pain never goes away. It's never going to."

Harper's accomplice, Marion Patterson, pleaded guilty to second degree murder in July. He has not been sentenced yet.

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