A California man convicted of stabbing a UCLA student to death was sentenced to life in prison.
Alberto Hinojosa Medina stabbed Andrea DelVesco, 21, 19 times inside of her apartment in Westwood, Los Angeles County, on Sept. 21, 2015. After killing her, he set her apartment on fire, authorities said.
DelVesco was a fourth-year UCLA student from Austin, Texas, and a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Jurors found Medina guilty of first-degree murder and murder during a burglary in May, along with two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of arson, and one count of animal cruelty.
— KTLA (@KTLA) September 22, 2018
Life in Prison
Medina, who was 22 at the time of the murder and was a student at Fresno State, was eligible for the death penalty but was ultimately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
About a dozen friends of DelVesco testified before the judge prior to the sentencing on Friday, Sept. 21.
“Today is my chance to fight back,” friend Heather Hourdequin said through sobs, reported the Los Angeles Times. “To my kooky friend, Andy: Thank you for wearing color as you danced in this world.”
During the sentencing hearing, “Medina kept a straight face during the trial and did not seem to express remorse for the victims,” reported the UCLA outlet The Daily Bruin.
Defense Attorney Debra Werbel tried to defend her client, saying Medina does not show emotion to everyone and has acknowledged wrongdoing.
Man Sentenced to Life For the Murder of UCLA Student on the Anniversary of Her Stabbing Death https://t.co/2REl9IWaF2
— People (@people) September 22, 2018
Man sentenced to life without parole in 2015 slaying of UCLA student found in burned apartment https://t.co/xgmAdQJZzW
— L.A. Times: L.A. Now (@LANow) September 21, 2018
‘Must Never Walk Free Again’
Following the sentence, Andrea’s mother said that she was relieved her daughter’s killer would never be out of jail. She had played a slideshow of her daughter’s life during the hearing.
“He can’t atone for taking Andrea’s life,” Leslie DelVesco said after the sentencing. “But he did receive the maximum sentence, so I feel relieved that he can never hurt another person.”
Judge Mark Windham said that the crime Medina committed was monstrous.
“He wounded an entire community,” Windham said. “He must never walk free again.”
Another UCLA student, Eric Marquez, pleaded guilty to assisting Medina and was sentenced in June to two years and eight months in prison; he had been in prison for that long and was released on time served.