FULLERTON (CBS) — A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for a series of felonies he committed while holding a woman he dated against her will.
Sean Paul Delacerda was found guilty April 14 of assault with a gun, kidnapping, false imprisonment by violence — all felonies — and misdemeanor domestic violence battery.
The jury also found true a gun-use sentencing enhancement.
Orange County Superior Court Judge James Rogan could have sentenced Delacerda, 27, of Fullerton, to up to 18 years in prison.
The judge cited the defendant’s lack of a prior criminal record for why he settled on the lowest prison term, Deputy District Attorney Sandra Nassar said.
“The victim asked for the maximum and I did as well,” Nassar said.
“My biggest concerns are he still hasn’t accepted responsibility for his actions and has not expressed any remorse.”
The victim — identified during the trial as Emily — told the judge today that she thought she would die when Delacerda attacked her and that she still struggles with panic and trusting others as a result, according to Nassar.
With credit for time served, Delacerda will spend about 10 years behind bars, Nassar said.
During the incident, Delacerda reportedly accused her of cheating and put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger — without it firing.
Emily started dating Delacerda in August 2009, but broke up with him about two months later, saying she needed time to deal with the death of her mother and the end of another relationship, Nassar said during the trial.
Despite the break-up, she and Delacerda kept in touch and had lunch together on April 17, 2010, Nassar said. After the lunch, Emily went to Long Beach to see her former live-in boyfriend, for whom “she still had feelings,” Nassar said.
When she returned home at about 4 p.m. the next day, Delacerda was waiting for her. Nasser said she kept a sliding glass door slightly ajar for her cats.
Delacerda accused Emily of cheating on him and pulled out a gun while demanding to read the woman’s emails, Nassar said.
After several attempts to flee, Delacerda tackled her, took out the gun, put a bullet in the chamber, stuck it in his mouth and pulled the trigger, the prosecutor said.
Delacerda dragged Emily and put her in a closet and locked her inside so he could go through her emails, Nassar said.
She managed to get out of the apartment and into her car, but Delacerda jumped on the hood as she tried to drive away, the prosecutor said.
Fullerton police arrested Delacerda near the apartment and found a gun with one bullet in it. In the woman’s apartment, police found four bullets and a note that said “goodbye,” Nassar said.
Delacerda’s attorney, Dennis O’Connell, unsuccessfully argued during the trial that his client was the victim of “a manipulative woman who survives by lies.”
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