ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The person who reportedly shot and killed an Albuquerque postal worker is now going to prison. A judge sentenced Xavier Zamora, but not before Zamora, once again, tried to get that decision delayed.
Three weeks ago, Xavier Zamora claimed he didn’t understand a plea deal he signed last year, so the judge pushed back a final decision. Tuesday morning, Zamora tried to say he was confused again, but the judge didn’t buy it.
“The sentencing issued today has brought another level of justice for Jose Hernandez,” said USPS Postal Inspector Greg Torbenson.
About four years ago, then-17-year-old-Zamora shot and killed postal carrier Jose “Pepe” Hernandez.
“This sentence can not replace the husband, the father, the brother, and the friend who was taken in this act of violence,” said New Mexico U.S. Attorney Alexander Uballez.
Zamora will spend the next 22 years behind bars for the killing that happened in southwest Albuquerque near 98th and Tower. He admitted to shooting Hernandez after the mail carrier witnessed Zamora hitting his mom.
“When you take a life, your youth will not absolve you of responsibility. Your violence will be met with consequences,” said Uballez.
For a second time in court, Zamora told the judge he was quote “confused” about his plea agreement and sentence. The judge denied Zamora’s claims saying, “I don’t think so”.
“The court today even faced with those statements found that he was capable of understanding the agreement that he entered into and what he was facing,” said Uballez.
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After sentencing, Uballez said cases like this take priority.
“Know that the response here is a great example of the federal response when a federal employee is attacked, everything stops, everyone comes in and the case is solved,” said Uballez.
Uballez also said New Mexicans are tired of senseless crimes, like this.
“Like Jose, they are ready to stand up, stand up to bullies. They are going to defend our community, and when our federal employees, when our community members, our citizens, stand up, we will stand up for them,” said Uballez.
Hernandez’s family declined to take part in Tuesday’s sentencing after telling the judge about their loss three weeks ago.