MARTINEZ -- A Pittsburg man on Wednesday accepted a plea agreement and a 26-year prison sentence for shooting two teenage boys, killing one with a gunshot to the back and wounding another.
Julius Robert Short Jr. appeared in a courtroom filled with the family and friends of Steven Rosalez, whom he killed Jan. 21, 2013. He pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, assault with a firearm and participating in a criminal street gang, plus enhancements. He will have to serve 22 years of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
Investigators said Short, 24, was involved in a scuffle with Rosalez and another youth the day of the shooting. A few hours after the altercation, Short, having retrieved a gun, found the two boys on the 100 block of West Eighth Street and opened fire.
Rosalez died at the hospital. The other victim was treated for his injuries and survived.
Rosalez's parents, Joe and Wynette Rosalez, addressed the court before Short was sentenced. Reading from a prepared statement in a measured voice, Joe Rosalez described getting a phone call informing him that his son had been shot and taken to a hospital. There, Joe Rosalez said, "We saw our son's lifeless body lying on a bed. Steven was dead, and he was only 16 years old. Our life is hard and painful without our son. Our family is incomplete."
Wynette Rosalez was sobbing when she told Short, who stood in the courtroom's a prisoner enclosure expressing no visible emotion, "I will never be the same. I know you don't care because I can see it in your eyes. I hate to say this, but I hope you suffer in jail."
Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.