Former Raiders star Fred Biletnikoff called his daughter's twice-convicted killer an "animal" Thursday before the man was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison for the 1999 murder.
Defendant Mohammed Haroon Ali, with his head bowed and clad in orange jail clothes, was motionless as San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach handed down the penalty for Tracey Biletnikoff's slaying at a San Mateo drug treatment center.
"There will never be any closure for me," said the Hall of Famer and former coach during his victim-impact statement. "My hatred for Ali will never go away."
This is the second time Ali has received the same sentence. His original first-degree murder conviction for the Feb. 15, 1999, killing was overturned in 2009. Prosecutors retried Ali, 37, and in March, jurors found him guilty of the same charge.
In his words to the court, Ali repeatedly apologized for killing Tracey Biletnikoff, the girlfriend he'd met while they were both in substance abuse recovery. He insisted it was an accident.
"I don't know why I did this and maybe I will never know," Ali said. "I would trade my life to bring Tracey back."
At retrial, defense attorney Peter Goldscheider said Ali strangled Biletnikoff to death during a heated argument about his slide back into drug use. He argued that it was an unintentional killing that amounted to voluntary manslaughter and warranted a maximum of 11 years behind bars.
During the retrial, Wagstaffe painted for jurors the image of Ali as a deliberate and scheming killer. He noted the effort Ali made to sneak Biletnikoff's body out of the Project 90 substance abuse treatment center and into a van. He then dumped her body on a hillside on the Cañada College campus in Redwood City.
While testifying, Ali said he'd pulled off Biletnikoff's pants to make the killing look like a sexual crime and throw investigators off his trail. After ditching Biletnikoff's body, he fled to Mexico but then decided to come back to the United States. He was arrested at the border in Biletnikoff's car.
Mallach, the judge, rejected a defense call to reduce Ali's sentence. Because Ali has a prior conviction for kidnapping and beating a previous girlfriend, his sentence was doubled under the state's Three Strikes Law. Ali was on probation for the kidnapping when he killed Biletnikoff, she noted.
"It's also very sad that although many years have passed, the defendant has very little insight into" the pain he's caused, Mallach said.
In addition to Biletnikoff's father, her mother also described all that she has lost because of her daughter's killing. Jennifer Webster, 62, of Encinitas read a list things she will never get to do with her child. She will never see her smile again, feel her kisses, spend Christmas with her, plan her wedding or hold her grandchildren.
"The pain never goes away," she said. "You took away all that she was and all that she would have been."
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.