Man sentenced in shooting death of off-duty Richmond cop

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- A man has been given a sentence of 21 years in the shooting death of an off-duty Richmond police officer in Vallejo.

In an emotional hearing inside a Fairfield courtroom, the family of Augustine "Gus" Vegas told a judge what his loss 22 months ago has meant to them.

Several of Vegas' 10 children gave statements, some offering forgiveness to Robert Vega, a man once considered a part of the family.

"I can't expect forgiveness for anything if I'm not willing to forgive first," said Enrico Maldonado, Vegas' son outside the courthouse. "That's biblical and that's what I believe and stand on."

Solano County Judge Scott Kays sentenced 30 year old Vega to the maximum, 21 years, for shooting Vegas eight times in Vegas' Vallejo home. Vega was dating Vegas' daughter and is the father of the couple's young son, who witnessed the shooting.

In court, Vegas' widow Sandra Vegas said: "Maybe it would have been easier if it had been a stranger. There's no way to make sense of this."

"When he risked his life every day for everybody and in his one sanctuary, his one place where he can lay his head and that's where his life is taken," said a tearful Adria Maldonado, Vegas' daughter-in-law, outside of court.

RELATED: Memorial held for slain Richmond off-duty Officer Gus Vegas

Vega's lawyer argued the Iraq war veteran suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and thought he was in danger when he shot Vegas.

On his way out of court, an emotional Vega turned to the Vegas family and said: "I love us with all my heart. I'm not a danger. I am not a bad person. This sh** is not justice."

"I really believe in my son for his mental illness and his post-traumatic stress," said Vega's mother Laurie Vega after the sentencing. "For both of our families this is a great tragedy."

Vega indicated he would file an appeal.

Vegas' family spoke with ABC7 News after the sentencing.

Click here for full coverage on Richmond Officer Gus Vegas.
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