Today was the sentencing and hopefully finale to this mess. It was a "special setting" so ours was the only case the judge was dealing with during the hour. The prosecuting attorney, Jennifer Valencia, did an excellent job of explaining our feelings and how we've been affected by the defendant's actions, because I couldn't make myself say anything and neither could any body else. When she spoke to the judge, it actually brought tears to my eyes because it was so perfect.
The defendant did speak. He apologized for what he did, named my brothers and sisters and I all by name and my mom's brothers and her two cousins, Janice & Jackie, who she was really close with. I still can't decide how I feel about it. I was pleased, I guess, to get an apology at least; but as reality set in I guess I feel like how can I take those words seriously from a person who could do something so horrible? And where was that attitude while he was doing such a thing?
He also apologized to his own family, and got a little emotional while talking about them. He flashed a smile to them on his way in and out of the courtroom. It kind of made me sick. Why couldn't they have been "one big happy family" 8 years ago? Now they care so much about each other; while my family is left with this giant hole?
Judge Barrett talked before delivering the sentence and explained about how these situations make his "heart hurt". He sentenced the defendant to 20 years to life in prison.
Now that it's done, I don't really feel any different than I did before. My heart still aches for my mother. The only thing that's changed is we never have to share the same room with him at a courthouse. Him being in jail doesn't bring her back. I don't feel any better about anything. I guess I expected to feel a little more at peace with things, but I don't. She's still gone.
I appreciate, so much, all the people who worked on this: Jennifer Valencia, Jacey Skinner, Pari Vroman, Detective Chad Reyes and Judge William Barrett.
Man Sentenced to 20 Years to Life for Killing School Teacher
Man Sentenced to 20 Years to Life in Prison for 2008 Murder of Elementary School Teacher