RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A friend of one of the terrorists, who carried out the San Bernardino shooting massacre, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he bought the guns used in the killing spree and conspired to commit acts of terror.
Handcuffed and shackled in white jumpsuit, Enrique Marquez Jr., 25, entered his pleas in the U.S. District Court in Riverside.
In exchange for agreeing to plead guilty to one count each of providing material support to terrorists and making false statements in the acquisition of firearms, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to drop related charges of marriage fraud, immigration visa fraud and lying on a federal document.
In an unusual move, Gregory Clayborn, whose daughter, Sierra, was among the 14 people killed at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2, 2015, was allowed to address the court.
“Why isn’t he charged with murder? I can’t understand it. He is getting a slap on the wrist. It’s not right. Your honor, this is ridiculous. He should get life without parole. This just isn’t right,” Clayborn told U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal.
“Criminals have more rights than we do,” Clayborn later told reporters outside the courthouse. “What I said in there. If you heard what I said, I meant it. For him to get as light a sentence he got from the crimes that were committed based on what he provided to help that happen. It’s a travesty.”
“We have no evidence to suggest he was involved in the planning or execution of that attack,” U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said.
That is why the defendant cannot be charged with murder, federal prosecutors said.
Marquez, a high-school dropout, is currently being held without bail and under psychiatric care at the federal detention center in San Bernardino.
He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 21
Marquez was a close associate to Syed Rizwan Farook, who partnered with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, to carry out the terror attack.
The husband and wife died in a gun battle with police.