Clifford San Nicolas will serve life in prison - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Clifford San Nicolas will serve life in prison

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The man accused of shooting his girlfriend after an argument over burnt rice is sentenced to life behind bars. Families provided tearful testimonies on how a lover's quarrel could turn deadly.   

A mother's love was on full display in Judge Michael Bordallo's courtroom today.   "This is a person that I warned my daughters about. And I would spend hours trying to figure out why she would not walk away," said Audrey Hattori.   

She's mother to seven children, including Valene Borja, the victim in a fatal shooting at a Dededo ranch.    

In January 2013 Borja and her boyfriend Clifford San Nicolas got into an argument over burnt rice before he pulled out a .22-caliber rifle and shot her in the neck.

The bullet left Borja paralyzed until her passing exactly a year later and San Nicolas' conviction for murder.

Although San Nicolas inevitably would be sentenced to life behind bars as outlined by law, parties argued today on how long it would be before he could apply for parole.    

Assistant AG Brian Gallagher reminded the court that San Nicolas' criminal history is extensive - 11 convictions dating back to the late 1990's.

"Something that the court has to consider is the face that this defendant is a persistent offender," said Gallagher. "He is a career criminal. Those words have great significance - it's his job to commit crime. Whenever he is released, Your Honor, it's pretty much guaranteed he'll commit another crime."

In San Nicolas' defense - none other than his older sister, Renee San Nicolas Castro who detailed her brother's troubled childhood and history of drug abuse.

"He's a loving guy. Despite all the stuff he's done. And committing crimes isn't a job. It's bad choices that we make. And the answer to your question why did 'V' turn back to Clifford? It's because she loved him. She truly loved him," she said.

San Nicolas was sentenced to life behind bars with possibility of parole after 35 years.

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