Man sentenced to thirty-years for killing seven-year-old

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Man sentenced to thirty-years for killing seven-year-old

CREATED Nov. 5, 2012

Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Alvin Valenzuela, 23, was sentenced to thirty-and-a-half years behind bars for the death of Johnathan Federico.

Valenzuela pleaded guilty back in September to killing Federico.

On April 9, 2011, Valenzuela was shooting off a pistol at Corbett Elementary School right across the street from Johnathan's apartment.

The boy ran outside to check out the noise and was hit by one of Valenzuela's bullets. He died in his babysitter's arms.

During his sentencing, a family friend read a statement from his mother, Renae.

"He took away a part of me, all I have left is memories of my angel," she said.

A 9OYS investigation revealed Valenzuela had just been released from prison weeks prior after pleading guilty to being involved in a double murder on the Tohono O'dham Nation.

For that, he only spent three years in prison.

At the time, the U.S. Attorney's Office told 9OYS they were reviewing the earlier case to make sure it was handled correctly.

During his sentencing, Valenzuela sat stone-faced after another guilty plea, listening to a judge read out a sentence ten times longer than his previous stay.

He had these words for Federico's family.

"I'm sorry, there's no words to express how I feel, I wish I could bring him back... your little boy," he told the courtroom. 

His family says the sentence wasn't harsh enough.    

"At least his family and friends get to visit him, write him letters, get to go see him, what do we have. We have a headstone to talk to, it can't talk back, Johnathan can never answer us again," said Gabriel Martinez, a family friend.