Family receives peace after judge sentenced their father's murderer to 50 years in prison

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Judge sentenced Joseph Castrillo to 50 years to life in prison. (KFSN)

Dean Barker's son was present at every court date saying he has been waiting for this day since his father's murder.

"He didn't deserve to die over a $12 taxi cab ride," said Michael Barker.

These were some of the final words Michael Barker told his father's killer right before a judge sentenced Joseph Castrillo to 50 years to life in prison.

The 20-year-old was found guilty of shooting Merced cab driver, Dean Barker, back on January 5, 2015.

He and a friend named Dante Woods called for Barker's cab. When they arrived at their location, Castrillo pulled out a gun and shot Barker point blank in the head.

Barker's own son says he was one of the first to see him in the hospital after the accident. He recalls the first bullet was enough to blow all his teeth out. The second two made him unrecognizable.

"He didn't deserve to die because this young man here, is a pathetic excuse for a human being," said Michael Barker.

Barker's wife also testified, saying that year would have been Barkers last New Year's shift--hoping to raise enough money so both he and his wife could move to Oregon.

He says he still has nightmares about the night in the hospital. At times, he would chase down a taxi hoping his father was in the driver's seat.

"I chase, and you look and it's not him. For a second it feels okay and then it's not okay again," said Barker.

Castrillo stared straight, never once looking back at the families of his victim. His attorney says they do plan to a file a notice of appeal. Barker says they are still taking it one day at a time.

"We all miss him terribly. We tend to see a lot of him in each other," said Barker.

They now plan to focus on the memories they have with the father they say was kind, loving, and gone too soon.
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mercedtaxi driversmurderdeadly shootingMerced
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