BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman was sentenced Wednesday to eight years and eight months in prison for fatally stabbing another woman during a fight over a man.

Before the hearing, a couple dozen people protested outside, arguing Jennifer Maldonado deserved harsher punishment. Statements read in court on behalf of the slain woman’s family criticized the plea offer made by prosecutors.

Some said Maldonado has no remorse and bragged about the killing.

Maldonado pleaded no contest last month to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Angelina Marie Carmen Betz, 26.

Before pronouncing sentence, Judge Colette M. Humphrey addressed the audience and explained why plea deals are offered in cases, like this, where an argument can be made the killing occurred in self-defense or the heat of anger.

The judge noted witnesses were uncooperative and gave conflicting statements. If the case went to trial, a jury would have to decide who to believe.

When prosecutors offer a deal, Humphrey said, it’s not because they don’t think the defendant deserves more time, but they have to weigh the odds of securing a conviction based on the evidence.

Humphrey said she doesn’t know how Maldonado feels.

“I don’t know if she’s remorseful or not,” she said. “I don’t know her. But I think you are correct, if she’s not remorseful, I think she will be back (in court).”

A witness told police he drove to the home where he lived with Maldonado to get money on May 21, 2020.

When Maldonado learned Betz was with him, she went outside and began fighting her “over a relationship with a male,” according to court documents. The witness said Maldonado stabbed Betz.

Another witness tried driving Betz to a hospital but crashed at the intersection of Niles Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue, the documents said.

Maldonado evaded arrest for months before U.S. Marshals took her into custody in January 2021 on South Chester Avenue.