A realtor who ran over and killed a homeless man with his Hummer was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison. That’s half the time he could have gotten.
The parents of Daniel Arballo pleaded with the judge for the maximum six-year sentence allowed under his guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter. They didn’t get what they wanted, but they said at least it’s something.
“I never dreamed that I would hurt somebody much less take his life, and my life is ruined not because I’m a criminal and a felon. My life is ruined because his life ended because of mine,” Christopher Pino said in court.
Wednesday was the first time Christopher Pino apologized for his actions back in April 2017. That’s when Pino got a call about two men burglarizing his property, the old Trinity Church near Solano and Central.
Witnesses said Pino used his Hummer to run over Daniel Arballo, and then tried to hit the second man. Arballo died a week later.
“I just wanted to knock him down to keep him there for the cops, and I called the cops and I didn’t hate your son. I don’t hate your son,” Pino said told Arballo’s parents. “My life is ruined because of it, and I wish he was here and not me, truly.”
In court to hear the apology, Arballo’s parents kept their heads down. Then it was their turn.
“Murdering is not okay,” said Arballo’s father, George Nelson.
Daniel’s father pleaded with the judge to hand down the maximum sentence.
“He has a chance to get help and we finally got closure today,” Nelson said. “It’s been 14 and a half months of tough time, tough time.”
Yet, there were also many others in the courtroom there to support Pino, saying he has been on a hard road himself, and asked Judge Christina Jaramillo to give him another chance.
“It will be the judgment of the court — imposed 1,255 days,” Judge Cristina Jaramillo said.
She sentenced him to three years — about half of what he faced.
“I think the man is a very sick man,” Nelson said. “I think he needed to be incarcerated, but he also needs other help and she’s given him that opportunity.”
It’s a sentence Arballo’s family said they can live with. Still, their bigger focus Wednesday was remembering their son.
“I love you son. I miss you,” Nelson said. “And you’re still in here with me.”
The state pointed out Pino has a history of drug abuse and asked the judge to approve drug treatment, which she did.
Pino was initially charged with second degree murder, but the District Attorney’s office said the charge would be hard to prove. So, they offered him a deal for voluntary manslaughter.
It’s still considered a serious violent offense, which means he’ll have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole.