SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who shot two marijuana dealers in Oceanside and dumped their bodies in the Arizona desert was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Edward Dean Hohner, 39, was convicted in April of two counts of first-degree murder, with special circumstance allegations of robbery and multiple murders, in the Feb. 21, 1997, deaths of Rolando Cebreros and Francisco Villalobos.
The victims' bodies have never been recovered.
"It has been many years of waiting," Villalobos' stepdaughter, Cynthia Cuen, said at Friday's hearing.
Cuen, who was 16 when her stepfather was killed, said he would be very proud that she graduated from college and is a partner in a business venture. She asked Hohner to tell her family where to find their loved one's remains.
Cebreros' daughter, Emma, said her life would have been different had she grown up with a father.
"It's sad really," she told Hohner, "but you chose this for your life."
In a letter, Cebreros' mother said she had nothing but hate and resentment toward Hohner.
"All I ask you (is) tell us where my son is so we can have a little peace," she wrote.
Cebreros' wife, Maria, testified in 2009 that her husband and Villalobos were going to sell marijuana to Hohner the day they disappeared. The defendant's girlfriend at the time, Cynthia Araiza, testified that she initially lied to police and covered for Hohner because she loved him.
Araiza said she got involved in the church in 2004 and came forward to tell authorities what happened because she had been haunted by the murders for many years.
Hohner was serving time in a Santa Barbara federal prison for drug crimes when he was charged in 2008 with the murders of Cebreros and Villalobos.
Witnesses said the victims were shot during a game of pool in Hohner's guest house after he told them he was waiting for the money to pay them for 120 pounds of marijuana.
The victims' bodies were loaded into Cebreros' car and dumped near Yuma, Ariz., witnesses said.
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A soldier from the San Diego area died as a result of a "non-combat related" incident in Kosovo, the Department of Defense said Friday.
Law enforcement agencies across San Diego County are planning to crack down on drunken driving over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.
A two vehicle crash left one person critically injured Friday in Emerald Hills, according to authorities.
Some of the smartest high school students in San Diego County will be in Atlanta this weekend competing in the National Quiz Bowl Championship.
Californians Aware, a statewide group that advocates for government transparency, Friday expressed concern over a soon-to-take- effect San Diego Unified School District policy to delete most emails after one year.
Millions of Southern Californians will be taking to the roads and airways Friday as the Memorial Day travel crunch goes into high gear, and the large crowds will likely test the patience of motorists and airline passengers.
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