The security guard found the youngsters drinking beer in a vacant apartment. Minutes after he kicked them out, they ambushed him, using whatever they could find -- sticks from a tree and a wooden board -- to kill Rodriguez.
"It's kind of a sick world when a guy doing his job trying to help people is treated so brutally without thought, without any attention to the consequences," said the victim's son, Al Rodriguez, Jr., after the sentencing.
Rodriguez's family wore buttons on their lapels as a memorial to the victim as a judge sentenced his killers.
The defendants avoided murder charges and possible life sentences by cutting a deal with prosecutors, and pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter. Their attorneys say they feel remorse and regret over a deadly mistake.
"It was basically an accident," said defense attorney Gerald Schwab. "They meant to hit him, but none of these kids meant to cause the damage that would later kill this person."
"I don't know that they intended to take his life that night," said Rodriguez, Jr., "but that's what happened and I think with this agreement they were given a gift by the state of California. They'll get their lives back in ten or eleven years. My dad will never come back."
The victim's son says as much as he misses his father, he's at peace with the deal, as long as the killers eventually become productive members of society.NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
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