Updated 9 months ago
A Kentucky mother is firing back at the former Missouri cop twice convicted by juries of murdering her son. Steven Rios recently opened up for the first time since his second conviction to a Missouri TV station, and they shared that interview with LEX 18.
What he, his ex-wife and ex-in laws had to say infuriated Linda Valencia, who, for nine years, has tried to put the tragedy of losing her son behind her. Jesse Valencia, say prosecutors, was killed so that his sexual relationship with the married officer would remain a secret.
February 22nd would have been Jesse's 32nd birthday. On that day, his mother took a trip to the library and caught a woman next to her intently watching a news clip. "When she pulled out the plug of her earphones, I heard Steven Rios' voice," remembers Linda.
It was a series of interviews with the former cop's ex wife, in-laws and Rios himself from his prison cell is South Dakota. "I got angry because I heard some of the things they were saying and his in laws saying, 'he's innocent and that there were so many other suspects.' How could he be the only one in prison?"
Despite two juries, 24 people convicting him of Jesse Valencia's murder, Rios still claims he didn't do it.
"Until I see something that's proof, shows me he did this, I've got to be supportive," says Libby Sullivan. Even Sullivan's parents have spent the last several years trying to disprove the evidence. "The things Steve did were not good things. So you're not going to like him very much, but that doesn't make him a murderer," says Suzanne Sullivan.
Valencia hopes, Rios will be spending many more days behind bars. "His family says they're not going to stop trying to prove him innocent, well I'm not going to stop trying to prove he's guilty either."
Rios isn't eligible for parole until 2035. Linda Valencia is already making plans to plead her case when that time comes.