JOLIET – Carlos Orozco would have turned 19 years old Thursday.
His family spent the morning in court while sentencing began for Fabian Almodovar, 23, who has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for fatally stabbing Orozco in the parking lot of a Romeoville grocery store on May 16, 2013.
Carla Orozco said the pain of her younger brother’s death has gotten worse for her and her parents each day.
“Carlos may not have been perfect. I’ve heard people say he deserved it. No one deserves to be taken from their family like this,” she told Judge Robert Livas.
Almodovar allegedly sold marijuana to Orozco’s friends earlier that evening and asked for a ride to Jewel, 20 S. Weber Road. The two men began “arguing who was tougher” and began fighting in the back seat, according to reports. The punches resumed when they arrived in the parking lot and Almodovar was badly beaten, suffering a concussion.
When Orozco tried to keep Almodovar from going into the grocery store, Almodovar stabbed him with a knife. Orozco fell to the ground outside, while Almodovar went into a bathroom and collapsed. Almodovar was charged with first-degree murder, but agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in April. He faces between four to 20 years in prison.
“I want to apologize [that] what happened ... happened. I felt my life was in danger, so I did what I did,” Almodovar said Thursday. Almodovar told Livas he does “feel remorse.”
Lucille Serrano, 19, who has a 5-month-old daughter with Almodovar, said he “has a good heart” and deserves a chance to be involved with raising their child.
After hearing testimony from Carla Orozco and Almodovar’s supporters, Livas announced he would spend the weekend deciding an appropriate sentence. Livas is scheduled to issue his decision Wednesday.