The Monrovia Nuevo Varrio gang member who shot and paralyzed a local teen in 2008 was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison Monday following impassioned pleas from his family for a lighter sentence.
A jury found Jimmy Santana, 23, guilty of attempted murder for in the 2500 block of Peck Road in unincorporated Monrovia on Jan. 29, 2008. He was also convicted of shooting a firearm from a moving vehicle, assault with a firearm, and intentionally discharging a firearm to cause great bodily injury.
Santana's victim, identified in court only as John Doe, did not attend the sentencing hearing, but a written statement he submitted was read by prosecutor Stacie Mayoras.
"I have gone through a tremendous amount of physcial pain," the statement read. "I spent a great amount of my teenage years being hospitalized and I have not walked since the shooting."
Several of Santana's family members addressed the judge in Monday's hearing. His older brother Steve Santana said Jimmy had been going to school to become a probation officer and was trying to get his life together before the shooting. He also has a young daughter, Santana said.
"I hope you guys can see that he's a good kid," said Santana before asking that a "light sentence" be imposed.
Judge Candace Beason told the family members that she was bound by the state's sentencing guidelines, which called for mandatory sentences of 15 years to life for the attempted murder count and 25 years to life for intentionally discharging a firearm to cause great bodily injury.
"There really is no light sentence the court can impose," Beason told the family. "This other young man is never going to walk again in all liklihood."
Santana, who had a moustache and his hair closely cropped, was led into court wearing a blue county jail jumpsuit. He smiled at his family and whispered "I love you mom" while his mother addressed the court.
"I want to tell my son I love him with all my heart," she said tearfully before Beason announced her ruling.
Santana was also ordered to pay more than $1,000 in restitution.