Man sentenced for murder of decorated Army veteran

SAN DIEGO — A person who fatally shot a adorned Military veteran and father of 5 throughout a confrontation close to Previous City was sentenced Friday to forty five years to life in state jail.

Johnny Gastelum, forty, pleaded responsible to second-diploma homicide within the Dec. four, 2015, demise of 35-yr-previous Lio Rutledge. Deputy District Lawyer Melissa Vasel stated a motive for the capturing was not clear.

Prosecutors stated Gastelum has a 2008 conviction for assault with drive more likely to produce nice bodily damage.

Rutledge’s aunt, who helped increase the sufferer, wrote a letter to the courtroom, calling her nephew’s homicide a “mindless and evil act.”

“My boy died alone on the road,” wrote Sylvia Lovato. “Nobody will ever recuperate from this.”

One of many sufferer’s sisters, Sylvia Howard, wrote in a letter that her brother enlisted within the Military’s 82nd Airborne Division in 2000 and did two excursions of obligation in Afghanistan. Rutledge acquired quite a few medals for his service, his sister stated.

Misty Blu Scott, who had two youngsters by Rutledge, stated her son advised her that his father was “taken by evil.”

Superior Courtroom Decide Louis Hanoian referred to as the case a “tragedy,” noting that Rutledge can by no means get replaced.

“For no matter cause, Mr. Gastelum determined to take someone else’s life,” the decide stated.

Police stated Rutledge was strolling to his dwelling quarters on the VA Aspire Middle about 10:20 p.m. within the 2200 block of San Diego Avenue when he was shot twice in an unprovoked assault and died on the scene.

Gastelum — who additionally lived within the space — fled the scene however was caught a half-block away after witnesses referred to as police a few man with a gun.

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