SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Two San Francisco men have been sentenced to decades in prison for the 2009 murder of a tourist in San Francisco. The victim's father, who works in Afghanistan, flew in for the sentencing and spoke with ABC7 News on Wednesday.
It has taken 6.5 years to bring this case to resolution. A young man, a tourist, was murdered for $50 and a cellphone by men police say are gang members. The victim's father flew half way round the world to make sure justice was done.
Lance Molina got 44 years to life for his role in the killing of Michael Bailey. Arieal Kittles was acquitted earlier. And another defendant, William Jones, got 57 years to life as the shooter.
"This was just a cowardly, senseless act," said inspector Larry Mack.
It was October 4, 2009. Michael, a senior electrical engineering student from Louisiana, and some friends were visiting San Francisco. They were lured to the Double Rock housing project where the defendants robbed them of $50 and a cellphone, and then got violent.
"They made the wrong decision," said the victim's father Ed Bailey. "If you're going to take somebody's money just go ahead and take it. You don't have to shoot the person."
Ed is a 24 year military veteran who now works as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan. He came back for every significant moment in the trial, representing his son's wife and three children who could not make it.
"Those three boys cannot know who their daddy is except through a picture," he said. "But what can I do about it? That's life."
Relatives of the defendants did not want to talk to ABC7 News, but the lawyer for Jones says he hopes his client can be rehabilitated.
"Something should acknowledge that they will change, and there's hope for change when they are older men," said public defender Mark Iverson.
That's not how police see it.
"Mr. Jones is a cold blooded killer and killed him for no reason," said Mack.
The victim's father says his son is gone, but definitely not forgotten.
"I know he's gone but in your dreams it's like he's right there with you all the time," said Ed.