BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield judge ruled Friday afternoon not to change the sentences of two men convicted of murdering an elderly couple in 2008.
81-year-old Joseph Parrott and his 77-year-old wife, Dorothy, were found murdered in their southwest Bakersfield home. On Friday, Judge John Somers said this was one of the worst murder cases he's ever seen.
Defendants Kyle Hoffman and Luis Palafox both sat quiet in the courtroom with little reaction.
Police say in 2008, Hoffman and Palafox killed the Parrotts in their home while they slept. Prosecutors say it started with an attempted robbery, and when the two found the elderly couple sleeping, they stabbed and beat them.
Both men were 16 when they committed the murders.
Friday afternoon, Judge Somers decided not to reduce their sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
This comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year imposed stricter rules on no-parole sentencing for juveniles.
"I think the judge did the right thing," said Deputy District Attorney David Zulfa. "I think he was deliberate in his analysis and exercising his discretion and at the end of the day, I think the life without parole sentences were appropriate given the vicious nature of this crime."
"It's not unexpected due to the horrible nature of the crime," said Michael Lukehart, representing Luis Palafox. "That is something that every party had to acknowledge."
"The only thing I'd say is that we're disappointed in the court's decision. I'm glad that Mr. Hoffman got to say again that he's sorry and that nothing he will ever say will forgive the terrible things he did," said T. Alan Rogers, representing Kyle Hoffman.
The Supreme Court ruling said juveniles can be sentenced to no-parole prison terms only if the judge determines the sentence is appropriate.
Judge Somers said he still believes Hoffman and Palafox are a danger to the community.
Under the court ruling, their new sentences could have been 25 years to life.