Valley Teen Sentenced ... 30 Years to Life

January 8, 2009 9:19:31 PM PST
A South Valley teenager accused of killing his group home counselor was sentenced to thirty years to life in prison.18-year old Marco Antonio Navarro nodded his head as a judge told him he'd spend thirty years of his life in prison before being eligible for parole.

Navarro was found guilty of stabbing 52-year old Tony Jimenez 92 times, killing him. Tony Jimenez was Navarro's group home counselor in Visalia. On a Sunday night in June 2007, the then-16 year old got angry and stabbed Jimenez after he told him it was time to go to bed. Jimenez fled to Mexico in the group home's van and was arrested four months later as he was crossing the border back into the United States.

In court, family members some wearing shirts with Jimenez's picture were brought to tears as they remembered the man they lost.

Shane Jimenez said "It just reminds me of how my dad was ripped away from my life in one night."

Lorina Fernandez said, "My father was everything to me I was daddy's little girl and now he's not there but besides that he was a great father and grandfather and husband to my mom."

Family members say if Marco Navarro had given Tony Jimenez more time, he could have helped him live a better life. After being honorably discharged from the marines, Jimenez devoted his life to helping troubled teenagers. His family never thought he'd be killed by someone he was trying to help.

Jimenez's wife of more than 30 years still wears their wedding rings on a necklace. She says she will never forgive the 18-year old for what he did.

Elva Jimenez said, "It's all over. My husband knew how to protect himself so that's why I know that he didn't see what he was going to do but it's hard."

While tony Jimenez's older brother said he hopes Navarro makes changes while in prison, other family members said because the teenager showed no remorse, it will take a long time before they're able to heal.

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