'A lot of people loved him.' Woman remembers brother as killer gets sentenced reduced
The Board of Pardons and Paroles is having commutation hearings for people who committed crimes when they were younger than 25 years old. Last week, Victor Smalls, one of the men convicted of killing 22-year-old Edgar Sanchez in 2007, will now have his sentenced reduced.
"My brother was a good kid, a lot of people loved him," said Katiria Sanchez.
It's been 15 years since 22-year-old Edgar Sanchez Jr. was buried at the cemetery his sister visits every holiday season.
"I remember I was in California. I had recently had surgery on my foot. I was stationed out there and I get a phone call, but I let it go to voicemail because...I was in so much pain. That's when I found out, when I listened to the voicemail - my brother had been shot," Sanchez recalled.
Now, 15 years later, the second person convicted for Edgar Sanchez's death could be released next year.
"I feel, in my opinion, anyone that's ever very remorseful of what they have done is willing to pay the consequences for it," his sister said.
Former gang member Victor Smalls committed the crime at 16 years old. He says he's changed.
The Board of Pardons and Paroles reduced Smalls' sentence from 45 years down to 25 years.
"At the end of the day, whatever decision is made is not going to take away that the fact that my brother isn't with us anymore," said Sanchez.
"I don't know if I would ever do enough to gain the forgiveness from the family, but I will do all in my power, for the rest of my life, to try," Smalls said.
Smalls is now eligible for early release in a year, while his co-defendant was released on parole two years ago.