Rafael Apolinar given 25 years to life for death of boss in 2011

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Apolinar's former boss, James Blanco, was in the shower when he was shot in the head in his home near Kings Canyon and Clovis Avenues nearly 5 years ago. (KFSN)

A man found guilty of killing his boss in 2011 will spend 25 years to life in prison.

Rafael Apolinar was sentenced Tuesday for the crime the judge described as "callous and senseless"

Apolinar's former boss, James Blanco, was in the shower when he was shot in the head in his home near Kings Canyon and Clovis Avenues nearly 5 years ago.

Investigators say Apolinar was angry about being fired months before.

Apolinar appeared emotional while he listened to his victim's loved ones.

"Seeing the visions of my little brother dead I wondered if he cried for help," James' brother Harvey Blanco said. "Maybe he said, 'Harvey help me.' I've always protected him, but I couldn't from you."

The judge called Apolinar's actions "unbelievable" and "cruel."

She reminded him his punishment could've been far worse, had the jury convicted him of pulling the trigger and his attorney agreed.

"This jury actually cut him a break by not finding him liable on gun enhancement which would have added another 25 years to life which would have effectively been the rest of his life," attorney Roberto Dulce explained.

Blanco was Apolinar's supervisor at Pleasant Mattress before he was terminated about six months before the murder.

He took the stand in his own defense to say he planned the shooting but backed out at the last minute and let his friend do the job.

A jury found Apolinar guilty of first-degree murder.

Letting go of the hate has not been easy for those living with Blanco's loss.

"From the bottom of my heart, I wish I can forgive you, but I can't," James' sister Rosie Sapien told Apolinar. "You hurt me, you hurt my family, you hurt the company, you also hurt your mother and my mother."
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