FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A Fresno family is still trying to make sense of a Fourth of July murder as the killer learned his punishment Tuesday.
Ray Fisher was just starting to get his life back together when it came to a sudden end on July 4, 2014. Vance Sams shot and killed him on the street in front of the Central Fresno home where he sometimes lived.
Sams left behind four kids, and a big group of close family and friends, all still living with the pain more than two years later.
"I'm so angry because he took something from me," said his sister, Robin Fisher. "My brother wasn't a bad person."
On that deadly day, an explosive sound brought Cardell Young out of his home-- the same one where Fisher sometimes stayed. The first face he saw belonged to Sams, his daughter's boyfriend, and a man who apparently wanted Fisher out of the picture.
"The defense in this case has said I wanted to see Vance Sams convicted and yes, I did because I know he murdered my son-in-law, my grandkids' father," Young said in court Tuesday.
Back in 2014, Young says he asked Sams what he did. Sams blamed the noise on fireworks and just walked away.
The defense said nobody saw Sams pull the trigger and one witness even saw someone else running away from the scene. But another person said Sams had a smoking bulge in his back pocket that looked a lot like a gun. And Young never had any doubt that two lives essentially ended that day.
"A tragedy for both of these men," he called it. "One is gone forever and the other has to live with it. And God be with you, Vance."
Sams will serve a life sentence and the 41-year-old won't get his first parole hearing for 40 years.