Alberto Medina, a former Fresno State University student, was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of a UCLA student.
Medina was found guilty of killing Andrea DelVesco in a trial by jury in May. Medina was convicted of first-degree murder under special circumstance, along with two counts of burglary, one count of arson and one count of cruelty to animals.
Judge Mark Windham added 11 years to Medina’s life sentence for the nonmurder counts.
Victor Avila, representing the prosecution, said people convicted of first-degree murder on special circumstances usually get the maximum sentence in California of life without parole.
Medina kept a straight face during the trial and did not seem to express remorse for the victims. Defense Attorney Debra Werbel said Medina does not show emotion to everyone and has acknowledged wrongdoing.
DelVesco’s body was found in her torched apartment with 19 stab wounds the morning of Sept. 21, 2015. Her dog sustained terminal injuries in the fire that Medina allegedly started. Los Angeles police arrested Medina in his Fresno, California residence where they found a knife and other items that tested positive for DelVesco’s DNA.
Medina’s sentencing was originally scheduled for July 20 but was postponed after Werbel asked for more time to petition for a new trial. Avila said the sentencing proceeded at the hearing because the petition for a new trial was never filed.
Thirty-three of DelVesco’s friends and family members submitted victim impact statements.
Leslie DelVesco, Andrea DelVesco’s mother, said her daughter had the rare gift of making one feel loved and understood. She added her daughter could always make her siblings feel better when they were feeling down.
“When he murdered Andrea, he murdered a little bit of everyone,” Leslie DelVesco said.
Leslie DelVesco played a slideshow of her daughter to help the judge understand what her daughter meant to everyone. Loved ones hugged each other while watching experiences that Andrea DelVesco had lived.
Leslie DelVesco said she longs for her daughter every day and that nothing can repair the damage Medina has caused.
Jennifer Polson, a friend of Andrea DelVesco, said she felt so lucky to be her big sister in their sorority, Pi Beta Phi.
Like several of the victims, Polson said she avoids things that can trigger memories of the incident, such as location of the incident on Roebling Avenue and certain parts of campus.
Polson said her sorority sisters got a wristband in her memory and said she tries to live the way that Andrea DelVesco lived.
Erica Friezen, a friend of Andrea DelVesco, said she is traumatized by the experience and sometimes doesn’t feel safe.
Friezen said she once ran from her car at night thinking someone was following her. She added she grew up in Fresno but struggles to feel safe there. Like many of the victims, Friezen said she feels guilt about what she could have done to prevent the incident.
Elizabeth Matuso, Andrea DelVesco’s friend and roommate, said she had shared stories with Andrea DelVesco and played with their dog, Shay, the night before the incident.
“I walked back home thinking of how I missed her and how excited I was to have another year with her,” Matuso said.
Matuso said she cannot understand why a human being would do something like this.
Windham said the crime was unusual because of its monstrous nature.
“He wounded an entire community,” Windham said. “He must never walk free again.”