REDWOOD CITY -- Two men convicted of the 2001 murder of a Daly City teen will spend the next 25 years to life in prison for the brutal killing of 15-year-old Quetzalcoatl Alba.
Erick Morales, 32, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for repeatedly stabbing the Westmoor High School student. Morales' lover, 36-year-old Reynaldo Maldonado, on March 7 was sentenced to 25 years to life for restraining Alba and rendering him unable to defend himself against Morales' attack.
At Morales' sentencing, Alba's family read him a victim statement about the impact of his actions. The man then addressed the court, and the family, and apologized for what he'd done, according to prosecutors.
The jury determined Maldonado held Alba down to the ground as the "love of his life," Morales, fatally stabbed the teen across his neck, back, arms, torso and hand. The jury also decided Maldonado's actions were not premeditated -- an allegation that would have made him eligible for the death penalty or a life sentence without parole -- -- but that Morales' intentions were premeditated.
It remains unsaid why Morales, then 19 and also a Westmoor student, would want to kill Alba, who was part of his social circle. Maldonado was 22 and not attending school but was living with Morales' family in Daly City.
Morales and Maldonado disappeared within two weeks of the killing, and the case languished until 2007. It was then Daly City police got a call from officers in Miami who said Maldonado confessed to a Florida man that he helped kill someone in California.
The tip led to Maldonado's arrest and the discovery of a popcorn tin buried in the backyard of his former home. The tin contained Alba's cellphone, a knife and the blue polar fleece sweater Morales wore during the killing.
In addition to his sentence, Morales was ordered to pay a restitution fee of $5,000 in addition to criminal and court fees and will also pay restitution to the victim's family for an undetermined amount.