SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A La Habra gang member was sentenced Friday to 50 years to life in prison for murdering a Cal State Fullerton student outside a Halloween party in 2006.
It’s a story that is Only On 2.
CBS2’s Michele Gile was in the courtroom when David Parga was sentenced.
Before he was sent away for the next 50 years, at least, he apologized to Leland Washington’s mother, father, sister and brother.
“I know there is nothing I can do to bring your guys’ son back,” Parga said, “but I am deeply sorry for what happened to him.”
The victim’s brother said he’s still dealing with pain and loss.
“There are days the grief is so much that I just king of muddle through the day. You have to understand who he was. He was such a great person. And the way that he died, the way that he died, he did not deserve that at all,” said the victim’s brother, Willie Washington.
Leland Washington, then 27, was shot to death outside the Halloween party in La Habra for no reason.
It’s taken eight years but the judge Friday said the person responsible for the murder was going away for a long, long time.
“Halloween weekend will never be the same for us,” said Denise Washington, the victim’s sister. “My brother was murdered that weekend and it’s ironic that we are here today for the sentencing for the person that murdered Leland Cleofus Washington.”
Parga, 28, was acting as his own attorney.
Gile said much of what Parga said in court was directed to the victim’s mother because he said she showed Parga no animosity.
“To you, specifically,” he said to the victim’s mother, “I want to say sorry for what happened to your son. I know the pain you’re feeling. My mom comes to see me, and she cries for what is happening to me. And I can only imagine what you are going through because you lost your son.”
At the time he was murdered, Leland was close to getting a degree in business. His family said he was a quiet guy who was always there to help others.
“I think if Mr. Parga had ever know him, he couldn’t have been anything but a friend to him,” said Bessie Washington, Leland’s mother. “He couldn’t have found any other way than to make him a friend.”