Judge expected to hand down decision in Yazdi case - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Judge sentences Fred Yazdi to 20 years in prison

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Enrique Recio's family and friends say justice was served Wednesday. They learned Fred Yazdi would spend 20 years in prison for Recio's murder.

"The years won't bring back my son," said Maria Recio, Enrique's mother. She stood between Enrique's brother and sister outside the courtroom. The rest of their family and friends were close by.

"Of course we want more time but we are happy he is going away," said Victor Recio. He says his brother will be missed.

Loving words about Recio echoed through the courthouse. A small crowd packed behind prosecutors and the Recio family inside the courtroom.

"I thought from the beginning this case was a perfect storm of irresponsible behavior," said Judge Bert Richardson that started with Recio drinking and driving on February 3, 2012. Richardson is visiting from Bexar County.

He told the court he fully expected the jury to assess Yazdi's punishment.

"I did not ask for this responsibility," Richardson said.

Richardson believed that if Recio had stayed by his car or wandered to another neighbor's house he would still be alive today. The judge called three shots excessive and believed Yazdi was irrational when he left his home that night.

Witnesses who testified during the punishment phase about Yazdi making threatening remarks and several instances where APD was called to his home weighed heavy on the judge.

"I don't believe all those witnesses would lie," Richardson said.

Richardson added that the situation that night could have easily been resolved by police who were four blocks away. One warning shot would have sufficed but the three that were fired was excessive.

"We're very happy with the sentence. We think it shows and gives the message to community that that behavior is not accepted," said Prosecutor Lytza Rojas. She said during her closing argument for the sentencing phase that Yazdi was a ticking time bomb.

"It's disappointing," said Bob Phillips who represents Yazdi. "He's not the trigger happy man the prosecution made him out to be."

Yazdi plans on appealing his sentence. Phillips wouldn't comment on why Yazdi waived his right for the jury to decide his punishment.

Yazdi left with very little emotion. He walked out shaking his head. His two sons left with tears in their eyes. They are 10 and 12 years old.

Richardson told Yazdi he had lived a remarkable life serving in the military and raised a remarkable family which he took into consideration.

Yazdi will be 59 when he's eligible for parole.

What happened that night in Avery Ranch forever changed the lives of two families. The Recio family says Enrique's memory will live on.

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