The family of murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry said Monday they aren’t “celebrating” the 30-year sentence handed down to the Mexican man responsible for Terry’s death, but acknowledged that justice had been served.
U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury sentenced Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 37, to 30-years in prison for the murder of Terry during the December 2010 shootout involving two guns eventually traced back to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives‘ botched Operation Fast and Furious.
“We are not celebrating,” the Terry family’s statement, obtained by Fox News after the hearing, read. “Today we recognized justice has been served and we believe the 30-year sentence imposed on this particular defendant is an appropriate sentence. We remain hopeful that all suspects in this murder will be brought to justice.”
During Monday’s hearing, members of Terry’s family addressed Osorio-Arellanes directly, with Terry’s sister, Kelly Terry-Willis, calling him a “coward who had chosen the wrong path in life,” Fox reported.
Terry’s mother, Josephine, told the judge her son was a “dedicated American” who loved his country, and that her son was her “hero.” “I will never hear the words, ‘I love you, Mom,'” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The family, the prosecutor and the judge all took issue with Osorio-Arellanes’ assertion that he was also a victim in this case.
At Bury’s prodding, Osorio-Arellanes, who had maintained he was not the shooter, but plead guilty in 2012 to first degree murder to avoid the death penalty, finally apologized, saying in Spanish, “I regret what happened, sir,” the Times reported. “I too was hurt. I don’t know what else to say. Please forgive me.”
But, Prosecutor Todd Robinson said no: “There is one victim and one victim only…That is Brian Terry.”
“You illegally entered the United States with the sole intention of committing armed robbery,” the judge told Osorio-Arellanes before handing down the sentence, the Times said. “There is no doubt that your prey was human. Law enforcement got in your way, as is their duty, and as a result a good agent died.”
While the Terry family continues to wait for all those responsible for Brian’s death to be found and held accountable, including waiting for answers from Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department on Fast and Furious, the judge ruled Osorio-Arellanes will serve his sentence in Arizona “so he could be close to his family,” after which he will be “deported and banned from the U.S.,” the Times reported.