40 Yrs-To-Life For Gang Member In ’05 San Francisco Murder

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – An Oakland man was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting a man in San Francisco’s Mission District in 2005.

Nelson Barrera, 31, was convicted in San Francisco Superior Court last month of repeatedly shooting Robert Mariano, a San Francisco resident who was 21 at the time of the attack.

Prosecutors said that Barrera, a member of the Salvadoran MS-13 street gang, shot Mariano in the 1300 block of Hampshire Street on Dec. 6, 2005.

Mariano had yelled at Barrera’s girlfriend about the dangers of bringing gang members to the area, and Barrera responded by shooting him in the back, prosecutors said.

Prosecutor Scot Clark said in court Wednesday that Barrera “shot him five times, in front of his sister and mother, all over nothing.”

Barrera was eventually arrested in connection with the shooting in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2006.

A jury found him guilty on March 15 of second-degree murder, carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and that he intentionally discharged the weapon, causing great bodily harm or death, according to the district attorney’s office.

Four family members and friends of Mariano spoke at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, including his mother and sister.

His mother, Sharon Mariano, said, “Every day I’m not going to have the one thing in my life I want the most: my son.”

Barrera’s mother also spoke through a translator at the hearing, asking the victim’s family for forgiveness, but acknowledging “that is not enough.”

Barrera himself addressed the court, apologizing for his actions.

“I have no words to explain it,” he said. “I made mistakes, and sometimes you have to pay for those mistakes.”

His attorney, Brendan Conroy, said that Barrera “didn’t begin this provocation” but “clearly overreacted.”

But Clark said the “the idea of a provocation is absurd” because “there’s no provocation that justifies this kind of crime.”

Judge Jerome Benson denied a defense motion to reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter, and Wednesday afternoon handed down the sentence, which was the maximum prison term for the charges. The sentence also requires the payment of $3,000 in restitution as well as other court fees.

“This case was a tragedy,” Benson said. “There are two saddened families and their mothers in this court this afternoon.”

Mariano’s sister Janet said the family is satisfied with the sentence, and Clark said outside court that “life in prison for a coward who shoots a man in the back is exactly what he deserves.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Vanessa Garcia says:

    I am also satisfied with the sentence… not because of him being a coward or whatever, but because we need 2 rid our neighborhoods of gang members for the sake of our children. I dont want 2 be afraid 2 walk down the streets with my kids, or have them be afraid 2 walk the streets in fear that they might be the next victim. Another thing that has been bothering me PITY on ALL attorney’s who defend a client knowing that they did commit a murder & TRY 2 DEFEND A GUILTY PERSON!!! The day 1 of their family member die by the hand of the person they defended would be the day they have a turn around!!! A LOT OF THESES MURDERS CAN BE PREVENTED BY NOT ALLOWING ATTORNEYS 2 DEFEND GUILTY CLIENTS… & Thank u Robert Mariano 4 trying to protect ur neighborhood from ppl like Nelson Barrera

  2. taxpayer says:

    the only downside is the taxpayers will foot the bill for his 40 yrs. imagine if the monies were spent on public projects?

  3. Brandywine3 says:

    So let me see if I have this straight…. a persons life is worth $3000.00 restitution. That’s the bottom line. But this MS-13 P***K, that has no remorse, and what’s more, is probably here illegally, gets three squares and a cot, medical, dental, TV, Law Library, and to hang with his equally cowardly MS-13 drug lords. I wish this was the wild west, justice would have already been served. May Robert Mariano rest in piece and God protect his family.

  4. smokefree says:

    all hispanics parents! where are your children, right now? we need to start taking responsability, with our children for bieng drawned to a street life! I know I was once a parent who did not pay attention ! I was busy? or maybe blind! but no more! I know now! I have a middle schooler and I m watching like a hawk! I work and spend my free time on him, seat,talk, help with homework! give him respect and talk to him! if only I could have done this with my first son! but that’s another story!

  5. EVA HUDEKOFF says:

    I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY SCOT CLARK & THE JURY MEMBERS, & THE JUDGE, & HARRY DORFMAN, IF IT WASNT FOR ALL OF YOU MY FAMILY WOULD NOT HAVE CLOSURE.NO MONEY VAULE OR TIME SPENTED IN PRISON, COULD EVER BRING OUR ROBERT BACK, SO JUST KNOWING THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS DEATH WILL NEVER BREAK BREAD AGAIN WITH HIS FAMILY, NOR WILL HE WALK THE STREETS AS HE AGES IN PRISON & SUFFERS EACH DAY ! THE MARIANO FAMILY

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