MARTINEZ -- David Rosen spent the final moments before his sentencing Monday reliving the final moments Solaiman Nuri and his 9-year-old daughter Hadees were alive.
As Rosen sat quietly with his back to the courtroom gallery, a prosecutor and sobbing family members shared those moments in gripping detail, telling how Rosen lost control of his car and slammed into the pair as they rode bicycles on a sidewalk along Treat Boulevard in Concord.
"He was the kind of husband who would pick up my phone calls and really listen to me, even at 2:30 a.m.," said Stoorai Nuri, wife and mother of the victims, before breaking down sobbing.
Rosen, who turned 18 this month, was sentenced to seven years and eight months in a facility for juveniles in Martinez. However, because he was convicted as a minor, he will be released when he turns 21, meaning he will be in custody for about three years.
Last month, Rosen pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and unlawful acts and driving causing injury for the April 7 crash. Hannah Nuri, 12, survived the accident.
In the courtroom Monday, the Rosens sat in the front row and the Nuris in back, as they heard of the Nuris' "storybook" romance. It began 16 years ago after Solaiman saw Stoorai in a friend's wedding video and decided to track her down in California, coming from Tennessee, where he was a cook.
They soon met, married and had two daughters, Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Cabral said.
"Solaiman was an unbelievable father to these two girls," Carbal said. "They did not just view their father as a father; they viewed him as a best friend."
Cabral next took his time going over the crash in detail, explaining how Rosen sped through a yellow light on Treat at Oak Grove Road, accelerated to 71 mph in the 45 mph zone as he zipped around two cars, eventually lost control, hit the father and his two daughters and plowed through a fire hydrant, brick wall and pillars along the way.
"Oh, my god," a grief-stricken Rosen family member said in the front row after hearing the description. Cabral said it was important for Rosen, the judge and people in the court to hear how the crash had torn apart not only a family but also a community.
The names of people who wrote 120 letters in support of the Nuris to Judge Lois Haight were read at the judge's request. The letters came from family, teachers, soccer teammates, classmates, fellow Girl Scouts and others who know the Nuris.
Rosen, who had attempted to apologize at an earlier hearing but was rebuffed by the Nuri family, did not speak Monday. He turned around at one point to look at Emal Karzai holding posters of his deceased brother-in-law and niece. Karzai asked the judge to impose the maximum penalty.
In sentencing Rosen, Haight called him a troubled teenager who stole from his parents, threatened peers and sped through town without insurance in a flashy vehicle and hoped the Youthful Offender Treatment Program would turn him into a mature adult.
Rosen's attorney, Peter Coleridge, said Rosen did not "get up that morning to kill anybody."
"He's prepared to take his punishment," Coleridge said. "He's admitted guilt; he wishes this had not happened."
Stoorai Nuri told those in the courtroom that while Rosen will be out of custody in three years and can celebrate holidays with his family, she would never hear her husband's voice again or see her daughter's eyes that were "as bright as yellow diamonds."
"Someday when you have your own family, you may begin to realize the suffering you have caused," she said.
Rosen is expected to return to court on Dec. 14 for a restitution hearing.
Contact David DeBolt at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.