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A California man who shot his ex-girlfriend’s sons as they tried to protect her was sentenced to 230 years behind bars for the attack, which left one teen dead.
Hileberto Valtierra was sentenced Tuesday for killing 16-year-old Angel Trejo and shooting his older brother Esteban in the back in December as the two were trying to help their mom move out of Valtierra’s San Joaquin home, People reports.
Valtierra had been found guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder in August.
“I wish Angel’s family the absolute best, and I hope I was able to satisfy their desire for justice for what [Valtierra] did to Angel, in addition to what he did to all of them,” prosecutor Tim Galstan told the news outlet.
Trejo was killed on Dec. 9, 2019 as he was trying to help his mother, Leticia Rodriguez-Alejo, move out of the apartment she had once shared with Valtierra.
Rodriguez-Alejo testified in a preliminary hearing in January that Valtierra, who she had dated for about five months, showed up as she and her family were moving her out and began to insult her, according to The Fresno Bee.
“He was talking to my son, telling him I was a whore, bitch, nasty things,” she testified.
Angel confronted Valtierra and asked him not to speak that way about his mom.
“Angel told him, ‘I’m talking to you with respect and as a man. That is how I want you to talk to me with respect and like a man,’” she told local station KFSN in January.
But Valtierra didn’t back down and started fighting with Angel and his older brother Esteban. Esteban and Valtierra began to wrestle and at some point, Valtierra asked his niece to hand him a gun.
He allegedly began shooting, striking Angel three times and Esteban twice. Angel died after suffering wounds to his head, left shoulder, and right thigh.
Valtierra ran from the scene and allegedly threw the gun in a field. He was later arrested at his cousin’s house in Salinas.
In court Tuesday, Valtierra continued to deny that he had been responsible for the shooting.
“Everyone knows that I did not shoot Angel, I did not kill Angel,” he said in court, according to KFSN. “If you were there, then you know. If you weren’t, then all you know is a story.”
Judge Alvin Harrell III sentenced Valtierra to more than two centuries behind bars.
“To say that you didn’t do it when you ran away from the scene, disposed of the firearm, lied to your cousin, lied to the officers, lied to the jurors, is not believable at all,” he said.
Angel’s family also addressed the court to share their devastating loss.
His girlfriend, with whom he shared a 1-year-old daughter, said that she now has to take her daughter on weekly trips to the cemetery to visit her father.
“The more you look at your child, the more it hurts because their father, who just had dinner with her and her mother an hour before, was the last meal they shared,” Crystal Garcia said.
Angel’s grandmother, Rita Rodriguez, told the court through an interpreter that she was heartbroken by the loss of her grandson, who had been like a son to her.
“I’ve gone through all this and there’s no need for us to have gone through all this, to have seen this,” she said.
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