Two men who plead guilty to murdering a Kerman teen have been sentenced to prison. One was given life in prison. The other will serve 21 years behind bars.
The family of the victim, Joseph Mendez, visited his grave Monday afternoon after the sentences were handed down.
“What those boys did and how it affected our family, it will hurt for the rest of our lives,” said Joseph’s mother, Diane Mendez.
Diane visits her son’s grave every week, at least once a week.
“Because it's a pain every day we feel. The missing chair at the table, every birthday, every holiday, he's just not with us any more,” Diane Mendez said.
Joseph was murdered outside a birthday party in July of 2010 in Kerman.
Gang members jumped him. Instead of letting him leave, they stabbed him.
Joseph's girlfriend Monica was with him and held him as he lay bleeding.
“He told me that he'll always love me,” Monica Andrade said.
The eight teens who killed Joseph knew him. Some had been his friend years ago. They all plead guilty to the crime. Several received life in prison, but not all of them.
“They took my son’s life they all partook in beating and stabbing him to death. All eight of those little punks they all should have got life,” Diane Mendez said.
Joseph's older brother hopes that some good can come from this.
“I just wish somehow we could do something in the community to stop the violence. Something we could do to step up and come together and truly take back our communities because this violence has to stop,” said Joseph’s brother, Mike Capella.