Klamath Falls, Ore. – A Klamath Falls man is sentenced to life in prison for murdering a 22 year old mother of two.
23 year old Uriah Alejandro Vargas did not address the court as he was sentenced to life in prison.
Vargas killed 22 year old Melina Ghost by cutting her neck with a knife in March of 2018.
He left her to die in the street.
Lea Coss is Melina’s mother. “It devastated me. It shattered everything that I am. I’m not the same person that I was, and neither is my family.”
A collage of photos of Melina was on display in the courtroom.
NBC5 asked Coss what kind of a girl her daughter was. “Happy. Never liked to be sad, never liked to see anybody sad. Very alive.”
Several family members spoke to Vargas about their loss at Tuesday’s sentencing.
While the judicial process is now over, Coss isn’t sure sentencing provides closure.
“It will.” Notes Coss. “Right now, I’m not sure how to feel. I’m not sure that it is closure just yet.”
Vargas pleaded ‘guilty’ to murder charges in late February as part of a negotiated agreement.
He won’t be eligible for parole until he’s served 25 years in prison.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.