Plenty of hugs and tears as the haws family learned the fate of their loved one's killer. Jorge Banda was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In September, Banda was found guilty of killing Tulare County Sheriff's Detective Kent Haws in 2007, but his sanity remained in question. The jury later decided the 25-year-old was indeed sane.
“Same emotions I always have when I go to court. I'm always anxious and nervous and try to be strong and hold it in. It eventually comes out,” said Francisca Haws. She is Kent hawses widow. She spoke in front of the judge before Banda was sentenced.
“I didn't write it down. I didn't really rehearse it. I just kind of winged it. I pulled out one of the albums. It had pictures from Father's Day with Dominik and Nicholas. I just wanted him to see what Kent was really like, said Haws.
It's been a long time coming for the Haws family. There were a number of delays before the case went to trial. , David Alavezos, the supervising deputy of the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, said, “I knew it would happen. We knew it would take a while because of the nature of the case. We tried to prepare the family for that, but I knew we'd get to trail and we would have the verdict we had.”
It’s a win for the Haws family and everyone involved, but Haws said it doesn't make things easier, “He's in a better place but we still want to be selfish and have him here with us.”
Jorge Banda's life sentence includes a number of enhancements for special circumstances including killing a law enforcement official and both gang and gun use penalties.