A Vallejo man who attacked an aged couple with a butcher knife final 12 months, hacking off an 84-year-old’s finger as she tried to defend herself, was sentenced to 17 years in jail Tuesday.
Decide Robert Bowers lamented current modifications to California legislation that made this the utmost sentence he might hand down for 35-year-old Juan Lopez-Garcia’s two expenses of tried homicide and one cost of mayhem.
“What’s completed is finished,” Bowers instructed attorneys and the shackled Lopez-Garcia, who listened quietly by means of an interpreter. “From this court docket’s perspective, I really feel like below these circumstances and these details, I’d give him much more time. However I can’t.”
Lopez-Garcia had been renting a room from 76-year-old Luis Lopez and 84-year-old Delfina Lopez when he fell behind on his hire. The couple’s daughter, Annette Delacruz, stated her mother and father have been consuming breakfast the morning of Sept. 19 when Lopez-Garcia exited his room with a knife.
“(He) attacked my dad from the again and hit instantly onto his head, broke his scalp and chopped his head a number of instances,” Delacruz stated. “He undoubtedly seemed horrible. I truthfully can’t think about how they survived that.”
Bleeding profusely however someway nonetheless aware, Luis Lopez ran to name the police. Whereas he was gone, Lopez-Garcia turned on his spouse.
“My mother received some chops in her head, however primarily her fingers and her palms from defending,” Delacruz stated. “He chopped (off) one in all her index fingers.”
Delfina Lopez will most likely by no means be capable of use her palms once more.
As for her husband, his accidents left him unable to obtain chemotherapy for most cancers within the months after the assault. He died on April 16.
Delacruz stated her mother and father “have been left for useless” following the incident. Lopez-Garcia washed himself off with a hose within the yard and authorities discovered him strolling on the street, shirtless.
Public Defender Kirby Madden stated in court docket that Lopez-Garcia was “in a paranoid state” on the time of the assault and was later identified with unspecified schizophrenia. He was speaking to himself and rambled to police in regards to the couple supposedly seeping fuel into his room and different “issues that haven’t any foundation in actuality.”
“He thought he was threatened, in some bonkers, irrational approach that he thought made sense on the time,” Madden stated, including that Lopez-Garcia seems deeply remorseful. He referred to as the incident “a monstrous, terrible act that occurred when somebody isn’t proper within the head” and requested the court docket for a decreased sentence given mitigating circumstances.
Bowers was unsympathetic.
He identified that the attacker expressed no remorse when chatting with authorities after the incident, even going as far as to assert his victims have been “bullying” him.
“He deserved the utmost punishment for what he did to those folks,” the decide stated. “As you already know, I’m not a ‘max’ decide. However generally there are circumstances that come earlier than you that simply cry out for punishment.”
Delacruz, who wept quietly within the gallery throughout proceedings, stated she was “very emotional” after Tuesday’s ruling. She has “no concept” what Lopez-Garcia was pondering on the time of the assault, however like Bowers, she questioned state sentencing limits.
“It’s unhappy that two years in the past he would’ve gotten 20-plus years, and now due to the brand new legislation, he can’t get a full time period (for) all of the issues that he did,” she stated. “That hits me exhausting.”