Fresno County man gets 50 years to life in prison for murder
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Jaime Beltran didn't say a lot before learning his punishment, but what he did say, caused the judge to give him some harsh remarks.
During the hearing Thursday morning, Beltran questioned the testimony of one witness. He represented himself, and never asked any questions during trial so the judge quickly put him in his place.
Just before his sentence was handed down, this convicted murderer, who acted as his own attorney asked the judge why he was being punished even though a witness who testified during the trial did not identify him.
The judge said, "He never said it wasn't you. And every single person in this courtroom knew it was you. And you know, it was you. Anything else?"
Beltran replied, "I guess not."
With that, Beltran was given a sentence of 50 years to life in prison for shooting 45-year-old Eduardo Reynoso in Kerman last June. According to court documents, the victim had complained about the suspect growing marijuana.
The victim's niece says the murder has been even more difficult to comprehend because her family was lifelong friends with Beltran, and they do not understand why he would want to do this to him.
"I wanted to tell him that whatever it was that might have been worth it to him, that he murdered my uncle in cold blooded murder," said the victim's niece Sylvia Valdez. "Because now he's not going to be able to be a father, he's not going to be an uncle and a husband or boyfriend, or nothing. He's going to spend the rest of his life in jail."
During the trial, Beltran only spoke very briefly. He told the jury to do the right thing during opening statements and that was it. He never questioned any witnesses or called any witnesses in his defense.
Valdez wrote Beltran a letter that she wasn't able to read in court because she arrived late, so she plans to mail it to him. She wants him to remind him that he knows the pain her family now feels.
"I wanted to tell him that he grew up without a mom and a sister, he had a crazy background and I wanted to say that it wasn't fair what he did to my uncle."
Detectives recovered the shotgun used in the murder hidden in the getaway car beltran used.
Prosecutors said before he pulled the trigger, the suspect asked for forgiveness and fired twice.
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