Corcoran murderer gets 25-years-to-life in prison

FRESNO, Calif.

Manuel Aguilar will now spend 25-years-to-life in prison after a Kings County jury convicted him of first degree murder.

Aguilar walked into the Corcoran Police Department in June of last year and confessed that he killed Hermina Gamez with a large knife.

On Friday, five of Gamez family members spoke to the judge and asked him to give Aguilar the maximum sentence for the crime. They explained Gamez murder was particularly violent and described her as a caring and nurturing person who was always willing to lend a helping hand.

"This is a picture of my beautiful mother. It's all we have left is this picture," said daughter Gracie Medina.

Wearing a picture of Hermina Gamez around her neck and clutching a portrait of her in her arms, Gracie Medina faced her mother's killer inside the courtroom and sobbed as she asked the judge to sentence Manuel Aguilar to 25-years-to-life in prison without parole.

"He deserves the worst," said Medina. "I just feel like my mother will never be here again, we'll never have her here again, but she'll always be in our heart."

On May 24th, after an hour and a half of deliberation, a jury convicted Aguilar of first degree murder. Gamez would have celebrated her 69th birthday on the very day the jury returned its verdict.

On Friday her family told the judge, Gamez was a working woman; a great-grandmother who opened up her home to Aguilar, provided him with a car and often bought him gifts.

"My mother was very loving and caring. Always helped others. Always helped neighbors, you didn't have to be family. She would help everyone," said Medina.

As the judge announced Aquilar's sentence, the family learned it wouldn't get its wish. Aguilar was given the possibility of parole.

"I know it's the law and they have to go by that," said the victim's son, Raymond Gamez. "But if it was up to me I would have liked to have seen a life sentence without the possibility of parole."

Pedro Castro was one of the Corcoran Police Officers working the day Aguilar, turned himself in and later confessed to stabbing Gamez. He told Action News, he wanted to be at the sentencing in support of the Gamez family in an effort to bring them closure.

Castro said, Aguilar told the dispatcher and a Spanish interpreter that day, that he killed Gamez because she told him she wanted to leave him and asked him to move out.

Aguilar's attorney said he and his client plan to appeal the judge's decision.

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