SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two cousins convicted in the "thrill" killing four years ago of a 21-year-old developmentally disabled man near his National City home each were sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Humberto Galvez, 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and lying in wait in the April 29, 2011, slaying of Jordan Hickey. Co-defendant Juan Ignacio Gomez, 24, was convicted at trial of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
"It's senseless," Judge Jeffrey Fraser said as he sentenced the defendants. "For a thrill, the defendants took a life and destroyed a family."
Fraser said the victim didn't know his killers, noting that Galvez and Gomez took pride in the murder and bragged about it afterward.
"Both of you are the worst of the worst," the judge said, calling the defendants "cowards."
Jeannine Hickey said her son was murdered "in the worst possible way that anyone could be murdered."
She said her son was pushing his bicycle up a hill just minutes away from his home when Galvez shot him three times with a shotgun.
"You're despicable," the mother told the defendants. "My son was nice all the time. He was nice to everybody."
Jeannine Hickey urged Fraser to sentence the defendants to the maximum term allowable so they will never get out of prison.
"As a San Diego community, we cannot allow this," the mother said.
Sheriff's deputies responding to a report of gunfire about 12:30 a.m. found Hickey mortally wounded near his bicycle on a sidewalk alongside Grove Street in Lincoln Acres, a few blocks from his home in National City. He died at the scene.
Authorities said Galvez and Gomez were "driving around, essentially looking for someone to shoot," and just happened to pull up alongside Hickey, who was on his way home from the library when he was killed. Gomez was identified as driving the defendants' car.
Galvez and Gomez were arrested at a home in Chula Vista about a year later.