Oswaldo Garibay apologized to his victim’s family, though he knew it would not ease the burden of their loss.
The 26-year-old gang member with "Mr. Sinner" tattooed on the back of his neck was sentenced Monday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years for the shooting death of Deon Ravon Dunlop in March 2007.
Garibay pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors did not make a recommendation at the sentencing hearing and dropped an enhancement charge for using a deadly weapon, which could have doubled the prison term.
Authorities believe the shooting occurred over a dispute related to methamphetamine. According to his arrest report, Garibay became angry with Dunlop during a drug deal when Dunlop loudly and repeatedly asked Garibay to buy some methamphetamine for him.
Fearing Dunlop’s behavior might draw attention to the deal, Garibay shot him with a .22-caliber rifle, investigators alleged.
The shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. March 2, 2007, at the Alpine Village Apartments in the 900 block of Brush Street, near Charleston and Decatur boulevards.
During the sentencing, Garibay told District Judge Stefany Miley that at the time of the shooting all he cared about was getting high and staying high.
"I would like to apologize to the victim’s family for all the pain I have caused them through my actions," Garibay said. "I know my words fall short, but I mean it from my heart."
Garibay’s attorney, Patricia Palm, said her client fell into abusing drugs at the age of 13 after his father died. Garibay is himself a father of two.
Dunlop’s mother, Tracy McCowen, tearfully addressed Miley about the pain she has suffered since her son’s death.
"I imagine what he felt like when he got shot. I imagine him bleeding to death all by himself calling for his mommy and that is an image I will never get out of my head," McCowen said.