Marriage delays sentencing
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A Sacramento Superior Court judge postponed sentencing a man and woman convicted on homicide charges so the couple can get married.
Relatives of the victim protested the delay.
''This is not right,'' said Leona Lee, sister-in-law of 39-year-old Travis Hempstead, who was fatally shot last year after what investigators described as an argument over bread at a Togo restaurant in North Sacramento.
Feuy Saelee, 20, and Anousone Phongviseth, 22, pleaded guilty to the shooting.
Saelee, a Togo employee at the time, argued with Hempstead and then complained to Phongviseth about the incident, authorities said. Phongviseth shot Hempstead later that day while he was walking down the street.
Phongviseth was charged with one count of first-degree murder and was expected to be sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. Saelee, who was charged with voluntary manslaughter, was expected to be sentenced to seven years.
As part of their plea deals, the couple was allowed to get married before being sentenced and sent to prison.
More than a dozen of Hempstead's family members crowded the court Friday in an effort to persuade Judge Trena H. Burger-Plavan to sentence the pair anyway.
Burger-Plavan said she was sympathetic with family members, but noted that the marriage was part of the plea negotiations.
''Though this is a tragic loss, there is nothing that can bring him back,'' Burger-Plavan said.
The sentencing was rescheduled for July 21.
You've got to be kidding!?!
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