Man sentenced to life term in killing of marijuana dealer - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man sentenced to life term in killing of marijuana dealer

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who participated in the shotgun-killing of a marijuana dealer in the victim's College Area apartment was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 25 years to life.

Craig Farley, 23, was convicted last year of first-degree murder, robbery and burglary in the June 29, 2010, death of 24-year-old Jonathon Pleasant.

Jurors also found true special circumstance allegations that the murder was committed during the commission of a robbery and burglary, and for the benefit of a street gang. However, the panel determined Farley did not personally use or discharge a weapon.

Pleasant's girlfriend, Esther Magnus, testified Farley came over the night before the slaying, saying he wanted some pot. But he left after saying he didn't have the money with him.

The next day, Farley and Terry, who were armed, went to Pleasant's apartment and a fight ensued, with the victim being severely pistol-whipped and fatally shot with a shotgun in the buttocks, according to the prosecution.

Prosecutor Michael Runyon said Pleasant trusted Farley as a customer and was caught off guard.

Runyon said Terry, 20, used the butt of a pistol to hit Pleasant in the head, and Farley fired the fatal shot.

In court Tuesday, Magnus told Farley that he committed the "ultimate betrayal" by killing Pleasant.

Magnus recounted how she left Pleasant's apartment about 30 minutes before the murder.

"If I was still there, would you have killed me too?" Magnus asked the defendant. "Jon was obviously too good for this world."

Farley asked Judge Michael Smyth for mercy.

"Give me some kind of hope," Farley said. "I need the break of a lifetime. I'm more of a good person than a bad person."

Farley's attorney, Elizabeth Missakian, said her client was not admitting culpability in the murder and immediately filed an appeal on his behalf.

Smyth said that while it was hard to say exactly what role Farley played in the murder, it was reasonable to conclude that the defendant fired the shotgun.

Terry, whose DNA was found on the handgun that broke apart while Pleasant was beaten, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, the use of a gun and conspiracy to dissuade a witness. He was sentenced in June to 26 years in prison.

Farley's motion for a new trial was denied by Smyth last month.

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