The mother of a 23-year-old Santa Rosa man who was shot dead in a late-night confrontation called his killer a coward and "garbage to the planet" at his sentencing Thursday.
Maria Valencia spoke through an interpreter to Latroy Clinton Sr., 41, an ex-convict with a lengthy criminal record who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the 2011 slaying of her son, Oscar Valencia.
The Santa Rosa woman asked for the maximum punishment, short of death, because "in death he would not suffer," she said.
"I want him to suffer every day, every hour that he is in prison," said Valencia. "I want him to be in prison with the worst animals that there are, like him, because he is garbage to the planet."
Clinton, who sat at the defense table with his back to Valencia and a dozen family members, didn't respond, although his aunt apologized to the family.
In the end, Judge Robert LaForge sentenced the three-striker to 58 years to life in prison plus an additional 17 years. He received triple the normal sentence because he had been to prison three times before, LaForge said.
His last time was in 2007 when he was convicted of possession of methamphetamine in Solano County. Before that, he went to prison twice in the 1990s for robberies.
LaForge denied a request to overlook parts of his record because the crimes occurred years ago. The judge cited Clinton's poor jail behavior as a factor in the decision.
"Mr. Clinton's criminal history is abysmal," LaForge said. "It really only stopped when he was incarcerated."
Also, LaForge said he found Clinton's own trial testimony that the shooting was an accident or happened in self-defense "not credible."
Clinton's lawyer has vowed to appeal.
The June 25, 2011 slaying happened after Oscar Valencia and three other men, including his brother Jaime, met a group of women at a Santa Rosa nightclub.
They followed them home and were waiting outside their Cumberland Street house when Clinton, who lived next door, arrived in a white van.
He got into an argument with one of the men over an alleged debt and they ended up fighting. Witnesses said Clinton ran into his house, emerged with a gun and shot Valencia in the face.
At trial, Clinton provided a different version of events, saying Valencia's brother pulled the gun on him and it went off in a struggle.
Jurors acquitted Clinton of murder but found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter. He received 33 to life for the killing, 25 years for recklessly evading police, 10 years for using a gun and seven years for his criminal record.
At the sentencing, Valencia's family played a short video of the slain man's life, set to traditional Mexican music. Three of his sisters also spoke.
Valencia's younger sister, Esmeralda Valencia, said her brother's death was devastating. She said her mother "cries all the time" and visits her son's grave frequently.
A large portrait of Oscar Valencia faced the judge as she talked.
"Latroy, I want you to look around," Esmeralda said, motioning to the audience. "We have a large family that now has a hole in it."
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