A judge sentenced Roy Saldivar to 38 years in prison, plus five years of mandatory parole Friday.
You may remember Saldivar was convicted of shooting Oscar “James” Frias outside a Colorado Springs Dairy Queen just over a year ago.
In court a number of family members including victims wife gave tearful pleas, begging the not to give Saldivar mercy, asking for the maximum sentence of 48 years.
Even at the sentencing hearing Saldivar maintained that he was innocent. He has filed a motion for a new trial. The judge has yet to make a ruling on the appeal.
During the sentencing hearing, the judge said he had to consider many factors including that there were still questions as to who initiated the confrontation and that both men, including the victim had a gun and fired their weapons.
Judge said he also considered Saldivar’s past violent history. He served 16 years for shooting an unarmed man. That victim’s father was in court Friday and told the judge that Saldivar was released from prison “too soon and would never change.”
The prosecution also said that Saldivar had five domestic violence cases against Frias’ wife that were dismissed because witnesses never showed up.
The judge said he was concerned by the defendant’s lack of remorse and that after delivering what was determined as a fatal blow to the head, that Saldivar shot Frias twice in the back as he laid face down on the ground.
The judge agreed with the prosecution that Saldivar be considered a “danger to society”.
The judge expressed how serious taking a human life was no matter the circumstances and how much "bad blood" was between the two men who both were at one point involved in gangs. He said that he “cannot imagine a more serious offense than taking a human life."
Saldivar, who represented himself at trial, spoke at the sentencing hearing. He told the judge that he maintained his innocence and that it was Frias who confronted him with a gun and that he was acting out of self defense.
He apologized to the family in court for the pain they are suffering from the loss.
Saldivar said that Frias was "not the victim here." Saldivar claimed that Frias was the one upset with Saldivar and that Saldivar had a good relationship with his ex-girlfriend.
Family members were in tears as they spoke of the loss of Frias and how it has impacted their lives forever.
They asked the judge to take no mercy on Saldivar, in fear he would never change and hurt another family if released from prison too soon.