[UPDATED:] Andrew Thomas Gallo Gets 51 Years to Life for Murder of Angels Pitcher Nick Adenhart and 2 Others

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Gallo
Update, December 22,12:12 p.m.: From the Associated Press:

Before sentencing. [Courtney] Stewart's sobbing father, Chris Stewart, told the judge each day that goes by "is one more day I'm without my daughter."

[
Andrew Thomas] Gallo was frequently moved to tears by the statements from family members of victims. He acknowledged before sentencing that he had taken the three lives and ruined his own after getting behind the wheel after hours of drinking.


More after the jump . . .

He also said he expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.

"When I die, I have to look God in the face and ask him for forgiveness and mercy," he said.

Update, December 22, 11:58 a.m.: The young San Gabriel man who killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others and severely injured a fourth person will spend the bulk of his life behind bars.

Over defense pleas for leniency and a shorter, 15 years to life prison sentence, 24-year-old Andrew Thomas Gallo was sentenced this morning in Santa Ana to 51 years to life in the can.

He probably won't be eligible for parole until some time in the 2050s.

In addition to three counts of second-degree murder, the repeat drunken driver--who was driving on a suspended license and had been warned in alcohol awareness classes that getting behind the wheel while drunk could result in the death of others--was convicted of two felony counts of driving under the influence with injuries and one count of hit-and-run.

But his Fullerton-based attorney, Jacqueline Goodman, had written in her sentencing brief that her client "is not a monster," that he is "extremely immature," that he hails from a broken home, that he suffers from alcohol addiction and that he is deeply remorseful for causing the crash that killed Adenhart, Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson and severely injured Jon Wilhite.

The Orange County Register reports that Gallo today apologized to the families of the victims and asked that they some day forgive him, saying, "I am truly sorry. I want you to know I never intended to hurt anyone. I am not a bad guy."

Deputy District Attorney Susan Price argued the Gallo "acted selfishly when he chose to drink heavily" then get behind the wheel, that he "took away three lives and ruined another forever," that he was on felony probation for drunken driving when he "showed a complete disregard for the safety of others."

Price sought the maximum penalty under the law: consecutive 15-years to life terms for each person he killed plus six years and eight months for injuring Wilhite--and leaving the scene.

That's what Judge Richard Toohey gave Gallo.

The judge was obviously moved by victim impact statements, including this from Stewart's mother, Carrie Stewart-Dixon (also via the Register):  "The night you killed my baby," she told Gallo, "you killed me. . . . I have a huge hole in my heart without Courtney. I cry every day and my heart is broken forever."

Original Post, December 22, 8:08 a.m.: Andrew Thomas Gallo, the repeat drunken driver convicted of murdering Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson in a booze-fueled April 2009 crash, learns his fate today.

Gallo, 24, of San Gabriel, is scheduled to be sentenced this morning in Santa Ana on three counts of second-degree murder.

This post will be updated with the verdict
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