A 20-year-old Rohnert Park man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the fatal 2007 shooting of a Petaluma man during a home invasion robbery.
Bradley Blackwell was only 17 years old when he and a co-defendant kicked in the door of Uriel Arango-Carreno's converted garage apartment and shot the 20-year-old man five times.
Blackwell was tried as an adult in the case and, because of an extensive juvenile criminal history and the brutality of the slaying, was sentenced by Judge Rene Chouteau to prison without any opportunity for parole, the District Attorney's Office said.
"Uriel Arango Carreno and his family deserved justice, and that is exactly what they got today," Assistant District Attorney Diana Gomez said in a written statement. "The community is now protected from this dangerous offender."
Prosecutors said Arango-Carreno had moved from Mexico a year earlier with dreams of making a new life and sending money home to his family.
His father, who borrowed money to make the flight, and brother testified during sentencing Thursday that they would never recover from their loss.
A jury convicted Blackwell of first-degree murder during a robbery last April, about a month after his co-defendant, Keith Kellum, then 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Kellum was later sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
He testified in court that he and Blackwell thought they were going to a drug dealer's house with the intention of stealing his drugs.
But Gomez said there was never any evidence that Arango Carreno had anything to do with drugs.
"Our victim truly was a victim of mistaken identity," Gomez said. "These guys may have thought somebody there had drugs, but he was not our victim."
Gomez said evidence pointed to Blackwell as the planner and shooter in the case and, though Chouteau had the discretion because of the defendant's age to give him life with the possibility of parole down the line, he opted for life without parole.
"That's a big decision," Gomez said. "That means he will never get out of prison."