Ontario Street near Kip Street, the area where Raymond Roman was killed in September 2010. Credit: Google Maps
On Thursday, a killer apologized before being sentenced for a murder over an argument.
"To the family, I'm sorry I can't take back what happened," said Raheem Gonzalez, 22, before being sentenced to 15 to 31 years in prison. "I wasn't in a right state of mind. I was scared for my life. I'm not the same person I once was."
Gonzalez pled guilty to third-degree murder and attempted murder charges for fatally shooting Raymond Roman, 20, to death about 12:40 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2010, near the intersection of Kip and Ontario streets, and injuring Roman's brother Xavier, 24, shooting him in the arm, leg and mouth.
Gonzalez claimed that the brothers had previously beaten, robbed and shot him in the arm earlier in the day, then left a threatening note on his car implying they might hurt his mother.
Gonzalez said he got a street gun and when he next saw the Roman brothers, fired on them in fear for his life.
"I believe it, but it was problematical as a self-defense case, because he didn't see a gun" before shooting, said Gonzalez' defense lawyer, Jack McMahon.
Gonzalez was sentenced to 8 to 16 years for murder and 7 to 15 years for attempted murder. He received a reduced sentence because had no previous criminal record, according to Judge Jeffrey Minehart.
"No parent should have to organize their son's funeral," said the Romans' father during a tearful victim impact statement before sentence was handed down.