BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — One by one, Elizabeth Villarreal counted off the shots Christian Campos sprayed from an AR-15 rifle when he shot and killed her son three years ago.
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen,” she intoned, her voice the only sound in the courtroom.
Twelve of the fired .223-caliber rounds entered the body of Daniel Macias, 24, as he sat in a car outside a McDonald’s.
Addressing gunman Christian Campos, Villarreal said one day she will forgive him.
But not today.
“You are a killer,” she said. “You have no soul. You have no heart.”
Campos, slouched in his chair, showed no reaction.
Judge John W. Lua sentenced him to 40 years to life in prison after listening to Macias’ mother and sister express their grief and viewing a video containing photos of Macias as a child and recent footage of him singing religious-themed songs and expressing positive feelings.
Lua called the crime “heinous and unnecessary” then applied a gun enhancement to Campos’ conviction. He said the killing appeared to involve planning.
A jury acquitted Campos of first-degree murder last month, instead convicting him of the lesser charge of second-degree murder.
On April 13, 2019, Campos drove a pickup through a shopping center to where Macias was parked in the 1600 block of Panama Lane. He got out and fired into Macias’ car then sped away, prosecutors said.
An informant contacted police about two weeks later and named Campos as a possible suspect, according to court documents. A search of a laptop used by Campos revealed a text conversation indicating Campos knew Macias and had recently met him at the McDonald’s where the shooting occurred.
Macias’ older sister, Deborah Macias, said her brother and Campos had a few things in common. Both grew up in extreme poverty and both made some poor decisions.
But she said her brother ended up dead while Campos boasted about the murder behind bars.
She asked Lua to punish him with the maximum allowed under the law.