DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man convicted of murdering two teenagers inside his detached garage more than two years ago has been sentenced to 21 years to life in prison.
Victor Santana, 65, of Dayton was sentenced Monday in Montgomery County Court on convictions of murder and felonious assault in the deaths of Devin Henderson and Javier Harrison. Prosecutors had sought the maximum term of 36 years to life.
Prosecutors said the defendant shot the two 17-year-olds when he found them inside his detached garage late at night in August 2019. Defense attorney Lucas Wilder said his client feared the pair would enter his house so he got his gun and went outside, but didn’t know whether they were armed or would attack.
“In that moment, fear hits him and he decides to shoot,” he said, according to the Dayton Daily News.
A witness, however, said the defendant fired without warning. Prosecutors said he didn’t give the teens a chance to say they only planned to smoke marijuana in the vehicle and didn’t mean him any harm.
Santana sought to use the state’s new “stand your ground” defense but a judge ruled earlier this year that it couldn’t be applied retroactively.