A Southwest Fresno mother is still waiting for justice

February 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A Southwest Fresno mother says she's still waiting for justice, three years after her son was gunned down.

Police say Robert Carlin, 19, was shot after a confrontation at a liquor store.

The victim's family held a candlelight vigil on the 3rd anniversary of Carlin's murder, outside the store where the shooting happened, near Amador and Whitesbridge.

Friends, family and loved ones shared candles, told stories and discussed the "senseless killing" and honored the teen who was killed for "no reason at all."

Rhonda Carpenter, the teen's mother, tells Action News, "Robert was a good person he should still be here with us."

Carpenter said her life turned upside down on February 27th of 2010. That's when her two sons took a simple trip to the store. A short time later, Rhonda got the call. There was some sort of confrontation.

Robert was killed, and her other son was badly wounded. She said, "I can't wake up and say it's a good day because it's not, not when you lose a child."

For the past three years, Rhonda has been to every court hearing. The suspect, Roberto Sandoval is accused of murder. Rhonda says that's all she knows about the fateful night. Court documents state the killing was gang related.

Rhonda says her son was never in trouble. She's now using his memory to warn others about weapons and violence. "Don't buy a gun, don't own a gun- if you know anyone that has one, stay away from them."

Neighborhood Pastor Bruce Hood didn't know Robert Carlin, but came to the vigil to talk about grief; something he does know- and all too well. "There's hundreds of people thousands of people all over suffering the same pain- what could happen if all these folks got together."

Pastor Hood says while nothing will bring Robert back, he hopes there will be comfort found in the community effort to prevent violence. Pastor Hood is now working with Carlin's family. They want to arrange a meeting with city leaders to organize a city wide candlelight vigil for violence prevention.

The suspect- Roberto Sandoval, will be back in court on February 28th. The trial is tentatively scheduled for April.


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