2 Plead Guilty to Electrocuting Former Councilman in Nevada Town for $40,000

United Press International

A couple pleaded guilty to murdering a former Sparks, Nev., city councilman by tossing a plugged-in television set into a hot tub to electrocute him after he signed $40,000 worth of checks.

Randy Howard, 32, and Valerie Fuentes, 25, entered their surprise pleas Friday in separate proceedings.

The two had been indicted, along with Janine Hillman, 55, on charges of killing Valentine Galleron, 71, whose body was found in a hot tub at his home June 20.


The indictment charged that Hillman masterminded the murder plot to get Galleron’s money.

Howard shot Galleron with a stun gun, the indictment said, then he was tied up and forced to sign $40,000 worth of checks from his bank account on June 17.

Then Howard and Fuentes shoved Galleron, a Sparks councilman from 1957 to 1963, into the hot tub and electrocuted him by throwing a plugged-in television set into the water, the indictment charged.

Prosecutors said Hillman paid the couple $2,000 and gave them the keys to Galleron’s motor home for committing the crime.

Witnesses said that Hillman took the checks signed by Galleron to a bank and cashed them, claiming to be his daughter, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Cheryl Field-Lang.