May 16, 2008. El Dorado Co. Superior Court. People vs. Mario Lozano.
Case # P06CRF0427. Report and Sentencing.
This is a copy of the transcript I purchased. I will copy it in the format I received it in. It does not have the times as I included when I was “reporting” and I will keep my comments and corrections in italics.
THE COURT: (Judge Keller) Good afternoon. This is the matter of the people of the State of California versus Mario Lozano. This is Case P06CRF0427. And this is the time and place for sentencing. And counsel are ready. I see Mr. Atwell is here on behalf of Mr. Lozano. The District Attorney is represented by counsel (Gomes) this morning. And is there any legal cause why judgment should not now be imposed?
MR. ATWELL: No your honor, there is not.
MR. GOMES: No, your honor.
THE COURT: The Court has read and considered the probation report that was filed on May 7th, 2008, consisting of seven pages.
Has everyone had the time and opportunity to read that probation report?
MR. ATWELL: Yes, Your Honor.
MR. GOMES: I have, Your Honor
THE COURT: Have there been any statements in mitigation or aggravation filed? I didn’t see any with the report.
MR. ATWELL: No, Your Honor, no statements that I am aware of.
Mr. Lozano has asked that he be allowed to address the Court, however.
THE COURT: All right.
MR. GOMES: There are three individuals, family members of the victim that also would like to address the Court at the appropriate time.
THE COURT: All right. We’ll do that.
The Court intends to follow the report and recommendation and finds it is without power either to grant or deny probation or suspend imposition of sentencing by reason of rule 4.413(a), statutory provisions prohibit a grant of probation pursuant to PC 190(a), and the jury found that the defendant was guilty of murder in the first degree.
Mr. Atwell first. Do you wish to be heard concerning the sentence?
MR. ATWELL: No, Your Honor. We’ll submit to the matter.
THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Gomes.
MR. GOMES: The People are prepared to submit to the matter as well.
THE COURT: All right. And you indicated that there were three individuals that wanted to speak on behalf of the family; is that correct?
MR. GOMES: There are.
I will let you guys decide the order and grab the podium for you guys.
(Pat Barron steps up to the podium first.)
THE COURT: Yes, sir, your name.
MR. PAT BARRON: My name is Pat Barron. I’m Kacie’s older brother.
Thanks for this opportunity to do this right now.
I wrote a letter, something, (at first) but I kind of put it together in a little presentation.
My sister Kacie was four years younger than me. This is my sister as I know her. (Indicating.) (Pat shows each picture to the court and turns around and shows it to us.) She is in second grade right here.
(Then he steps from the podium to behind Mr. Atwell and reaches the picture in front of Mario’s face.)
THE COURT: Mr. Barron. Mr. Barron, stay back by the podium, if you would.
MR. BARRON: All right. I am doing my best here.
This is another picture of myself, my brother Johnner, and my sister. We’re at a funeral.
Here’s another one (Indicating.) at my wedding with the wife that my sister introduced me to, my brother, my sister. I don’t know why my wife isn’t in this picture. She took it, maybe. And my mother is in this picture.
This is a family barbeque, my wife, my mother, my brother, my nephew Nick, my brother’s, lady, and my sister, you know, doing family things.
This is my sister being a mom at her son’s graduation.
And when he was a small - - young man, young boy.
Kacie was a very good mom.
This here is a picture of the last barbeque we had, my nephew’s birthday. You see me, you see my brother, and you see Nick, my sister’s son.
There’s something wrong with this picture. There’s something wrong with this picture.
I am no poet, I am no author. So what comes out of here is what you get.
I’ve already told you guys I’m Kacie’s older brother. What am I to say To the Court about a killer that took my little sister’s life?
I feel empty. I am full of rage.
I don’t know how I stayed in my seat during this trial with the guilt, the fear. The helplessness has been absolutely dreadful beyond description. (More than once Pat exercised control over his temper by getting up and walking out of the courtroom.)
This person that sits here before us today, as far as I’m concerned, does not even have an identity.
I refer to him as: The killer.
He is a sick puppy and deserves to never see the light of day .
He murdered my little sister, Kacie.
She did not deserve to be robbed of her life. She was only 40 years young. She’s gone forever.
I cannot even imagine the sick demented thoughts that went through this killer’s head at the time he shot Kacie to death.
The testimony of this killer was riddled with confusion and lies. My only help was to sit through this God-awful trial and make some sense of what happened that day.
I feel that I will never know the complete truth.
For nearly two years waiting for this day, my life has been at a standstill. I felt as if I could not move forward.
My only saving grace is the fact that when this killer hears the clang of those prison gates behind him that what he has don’t to Kacie, myself, and my family, I hope will torment him daily as it has me.
I hope that prison is everything they say and more.
Stuff him in the cell, throw away the key.
I love my sister Kacie, and I miss her.
P.S. In prison I hope you find the love that you have been looking for.
THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Barron.
MR. PAT BARRON: Thank you.
THE COURT: Good afternoon, ma’am. And your name?
MS. SHARON BARRON: My name is Sharon Barron. I am Kacie’s sister-in-law. Pat’s wife.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Kacie was taken from our family and community July 26, 2006. Kacie was a mother, a daughter, a sister, and an aunt, a cousin, a sister-in-law, and a friend.
The family and friends will never be the same without Kacie, and I worry about Nick, her son who found her, and the impact of the scene that will forever be etched in his mind.
From all the things that he will miss without his mom being there. She didn’t get to celebrate Nick’s twenty-first birthday, the day when he gets married, or when he has a baby. She won’t be there.
All the things that will happen in his life, he can’t share with his mom anymore. Kacie loved babies. She loved her nephew Ian and she didn’t get to even see her newborn niece Ella before she died.
She loved to raise a garden, and she had a big one growing when she died.
Do you know how hard it is to water the garden knowing Kacie couldn’t enjoy it anymore?
It upset me so bad taking the veggies that she had been so happy to grow. It just wasn’t right, although I know that she would have wanted us to enjoy what she loved doing.
Kacie loved to ride motorcycles. When my Pat—when Pat, my husband, her brother, bought his new Harley, he stopped by to give her a ride. And that was the last time he ever saw her alive.
She would brag to her friends about the bikes that Pat had, and if they needed a part for it, Pat probably had it. She loved her brother, always bragged. Then I think she went to every performance that her brother Johnner’s band played in.
She took pictures and showed them of to everyone. She was really becoming quite the photographer.
I know Kacie dearly loved her son Nick and her brothers and little nephew.
I don’t know what to call the murderer. I do not believe that he deserves a name, and it makes me ill to think about him ever having a name.
He not only took Kacie’s life, he also took part of our life, and she was an important part of our family and a friend to many.
Why couldn’t he have dealt with rejection like a man and just left Kacie and be on your way?
Instead, you decided to take her life.
You said it was an accident. You lie. You deliberately did this heinous murder with the gall to steal her credit cards, handguns, and her car. What a total lowlife.
In your confession you had the audacity to tell lieutenant Nida that you loved Kacie.
Prison time is not good enough for the premeditated and malicious murder of Kacie. You deserve to die.
You are a murderer, a liar, a thief. And why should you live?
The only hope I have with you being in prison is that you will think about what you did every day and I hope you burn in hell.
The only thing we want is to have Kacie back with us. But that’s not possible, is it?
Thank you, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you, Ms. Barron.
Good afternoon, sir. Your name?
CHAPLAIN GENE JOHNSON: I’m Gene Johnson.
I have known Kacie and her family for over 25 years. When I started dating Kacie in May of 2004, she told me then that Mario had been making advances towards her and she wasn’t interested in responding to him at that time.
She shared a couple things with me about his actions at that time that I thought were pretty immature, pretty infantile and selfish.
(He left notes around her office saying things like “Queen Bitch” and helped himself to an unopened bottle of wine without asking or even telling her that he drank it.)
Sometime around 2005, Mario borrowed and crashed Kacie’s car without bothering to mention he didn’t have a valid license at the time until he was on the phone with her after the collision.
He couldn’t make—she couldn’t make an insurance claim because of that. She didn’t want to get him in trouble at that time.
He told her someone else had been hit also, and he left the scene when he heard that the sheriffs were going to come.
Mario promised to fix her car but never did anything about it.
So after several months she talked to me about helping her to fix it. So that’s been completed, unfortunately after she’s gone.
I still don’t understand how a hit-and-run driver could swipe the passenger side of her car.
Kacie and I dated for about five or six months, and I('d) drive up from Colusa almost every weekend to spend time with her.
I really thought she was a strong individual. She didn’t need to be maintained. She was resourceful and she wouldn’t bat an eye at going out of her way to help someone truly in need. She had serious back injuries but refused to be disabled.
I loved her and wanted her to be my companion.
But when I even mentioned marriage, she wasn’t going to even consider that, and I wasn’t going to settle with just living together. So when things weren’t going that way, I was able to step back and I wanted to continue enjoying the friendship that she was able to give.
I still enjoyed coming up occasionally and helping her with her projects, whether it was working on the house, the garden, cars, appliances or computer, whatever, or her trailer, or whether it was helping her to help someone else.
I visited her, I can’t remember if it was the weekend or two weekends before she died and refilling (refilled) cartridges for her printer(s).
(She was working in her garden and I brought the cartridges and refill kit out to the garden to be able to visit while we were working.)
I don’t think Mario could even appreciate Kacie’s strength and character.
It probably bothered him that she had a life and opinions of her own and that she wouldn’t respond obediently to his desires or his demands.
I have met so many people that were rescued from abusive relationships by Kacie, some when they were children and some when they were adults.
The person—I will leave that out.
But she would not hesitate to put herself in harm’s way to give her friends a safe haven and time to think. She helped several escape dangerous relationships. She literally saved a lot of lives just because it was the right thing to do and that’s where her heart was.
So how the hell did she end up with Mario in her life?
To end her life because she pissed him off?
He had to selfishly hang around and forced her to have to stay at other friends’ houses waiting for him to leave. And he just wouldn’t leave without his bags. So he got Nick’s shotgun and was going to show her, huh?
It doesn’t matter whether Mario turned off the safety or even chambered the first round, he should have just left.(!)
Even if the first shot was an accident, he should have just left.(!)
(The first shot wouldn’t have even happened if he had just left!)
So after she was hit with the first shot, he had to kill her so she wouldn’t suffer?
He had been making her life hell long before he even argued with her that day. She was already suffering because of him.(!)
Mario’s lack of self-control, his inability to control his anger and just walk away cost Kacie her life and tore up more lives than he can imagine. He ripped off the world.
At first I was a bit disappointed that the death penalty was not an option for this trial. But then I realized that death would probably be the kindest sentence for him. It would allow him an escape from the memory of what he’s done to Kacie and her family, an escape that Kacie’s family and friends can’t have.
But I strongly feel that if Mario lived 60 years without learning to control his temper, he would just be a time bomb if he was ever to be paroled and allowed the possibility to use it and destroy more lives.
THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Johnson.
Is there anyone else who wishes to make any comments?
Mr. Atwell, you indicated Mr. Lozano wanted to make a statement?
MR. ATWELL: Your Honor, could I have one of his hands released here so he can handle his paper?
THE COURT: Yes, go ahead.
THE DEFENDANT: (Mario Lozano.) Thank you, Your Honor.
Your Honor, you do not have before you a stack of files, chronically innumerable papers by any other person in the 60 years prior to my arrest in August of 2006. No rap sheet has ever been compiled detailing arrests and convictions for crimes of any kind, other than my period of incarceration, no parole or probation, no pages of fines or orders for restitution. I have no history of drug or alcohol abuse, nor of any related problems such as DUI, public drunkenness, property damage. I have no record of weapons discharged or even of weapons purchased.
I have no guns—no weapons registered to me because I have never owned any.
I have no record of domestic violence, moral turpitude, or crimes against nature.
I do not have a history of failed business enterprises one after the next, no bad dealings with buyers, no contracting license law violations, no insurance scams, no price fixing, no bribery charges, no tax evasion charges.
I had top secret security clearance while in the military, so you may correctly assume that nothing lurks in my juvenile record as well.
We know all of this is true because the prosecution has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, if not intentionally, then, by it’s failure to introduce evidence to the contrary.
Throughout the trial the prosecution’s table was festooned with all manner of electronic gimcrackeries. So we can be certain that they scoured every corner of my life, attempting to bolster their case. No doubt exists in my mind that any negative evidence that could be dredged up by the prosecution would have landed in this courtroom with the same melodrama hit with a thud when any (my) bags hit the floor in front of the witness stand.
Your Honor, my main goal in life has been the pursuit of happiness. I have cleaved this best by staying to the happiness of others, my family first and foremost.
I have been blessed with two fine sons who are the light of my life, both of whom are a credit to the state of Hawaii to the branches of military in which they both have served respectively, and who are now going on to raise their own families.
(About here I am looking at others in the audience getting looks like “what the hell has this got to do with you killing Kacie!”)
I have derived no amount of satisfaction from my chosen profession. For 22 years I worked for a company that built custom homes ranging in size from 10 to 50,000 square feet or more, most multi-million dollar home(s) for very wealthy people, people who you have maybe seen on television or movies, or whatever. The type of work that requires a high degree of proficiency of very demanding clients who do not suffer fools gladly and for whom money is no object.
I have—I obtained my license in 1990 and that will—my client is rarified as is my former employers. What I learned in all that time has made it possible for me to operate strictly on a referral basis. I worked around the world as the need arose to various cities. All of this has made for a very nice life in a place everyone refers to as paradise.
(Again… what??? And, so what!!!)
It has made it possible for me to sail my own boat to 17 different islands in the Central and South Pacific. And if you look at my past through the files, you will find that I have traveled to over 30 countries, family vacations, most of them.
My life has been a gift that at one point several years ago I felt compelled to do more than merely pay taxes and donate my money to this, that, or the other charity, so I became involved with building homes for people less fortunate than I.
And more recently have begun to donate time in a hospice for the terminally ill down the hill from my house. The gratitude expressed by those for whom we built homes and by those for whom a little time is more than most people can afford, more than made up for my money I did earn working for myself.
And that is the spirit in which I came to help my friend, my intention, based on what she had told me, were to finished getting her moved out of her house and get her and her trailer down to Kingman, Arizona, after which I had no idea what her plans involved, nor did it matter to me because I had to be back home by the 1st of August for a project that I had already spent two years on.
I had not ever lived with Ms. Barron at her Placerville house address. If I had, her father (Actually, her step-father who removed Mario’s clothes and personal possessions from the house after the dectectives were finished.) would have required that I pay her rent, and while it makes absolutely no sense to live with Ms. Barron, especially not in a 24-foot trailer in Kingman, Arizona.
(Hmmm… sure sounded like you were planning on traveling with her in your statements to Lt. Nida. Remember how upset you were when the trailer wasn’t done and you complained about feeding gas to a Chevy with a 454 on a limited income? Were you lying then or now?)
I own my home in Kauai. I own it and the land it sits on outright. Outside of property tax, I behold no man for any part of it. I built it myself. And it is only one of three cantilevers on the island of Hawaii. I love that house and regret very much that I will never see it again.
The idea that I traded my home in paradise for a 24-foot travel trailer in a place that can get 117 degrees in the shade is someone’s allegations, fantasy. Not mine, I assure you.
I sent Ms. Barron money so she could catch up on her phone bills, and find and pay for a different storage place, fix whatever was wrong with her trailer and truck, and be ready to go by August.
I have also bought and sent her a laptop computer and enough money to buy a wireless card, along with the service contract. I did all of this because I believed what she told me. I had no reason not to, and she did not have a reputation as a liar.
And here’s where we run into the elephant that everybody has been tiptoeing around in this case: Methamphetamine.
It is the only explanation for the 180-degree personality shift that I witnessed in my friend. It’s sustained use has caused my friend to mislead me about her situation, and prevented her from simply being honest with me while I was still in Hawaii. Had she told me the money I sent was gone and she was nowhere ready to leave to Arizona, I would have advised her to seek help if she felt she needed it, and I would have told her if she was inclined to get out from under that, she could count on my support.
I am a patient man, Your Honor. The length of my career bears witness to that.
(What??? What did you say? That didn’t even make sense! Patience had nothing to do with me being a mechanic for 30 years…)
I live on an island and is part of an archipelago, which is considered to be the most remote spot in the planet. It has been my experience impatient people do not live long when they are there.
When I tell you my friends would have my support, I mean if she was to have made a sincere effort to turn her life around, I would have been there until the cows came home.
However, this doesn’t mean that I would have volunteered to pay for her rehab. And as a practical matter, there are many other ways to help a person find their way to recovery.
But by July of ’06 this was no longer a possibility. The horse had left the barn long before I got there, and all that was left for me at that point was to take care of what was still mine.
(The autopsy did show some trace of methamphetamine but no signs or indication of chronic use. She probably used to stay alert when she was afraid to sleep.)
The imagination of the prosecution had me playing hide and go seek down in Mammoth Lakes preparing to take on the Eastern Sierra and armed with a .226 caliber six-shooter.
The reality is much less melodramatic. My oldest son lives in Oahu. And when I moved down to Mammoth Lake enough time—
THE REPORTER: Excuse me, you are speaking too fast.
THE COURT: She has to take this down, Mr. Lozano. I’ll ask you to read a little bit slower.
(This was actually the second time she had to slow him down.)
THE DEFENDANT: When I got down to Mammoth Lake, it was enough time to have my son go over to Kauai, meet with my attorney, and transfer everything I owned into his name, house, trucks, everything. And for the next couple of weeks by virtue of Fax and Fed Ex, that is precisely what I did.
Because in this Brave now world O’Patriot Acts and such, I had no way of knowing for certain whether or not any assets I possessed at the time of my arrest would be frozen pending the outcome of any state or civil action against me and then subsequently be auctioned off for the benefit of whomever were I to be convicted of any crimes. I found such a scenario as this or any irrelevant variation thereof completely untenable, to say the least.
(In other words: I’m so selfish I couldn’t stand the thought of my belongings paying restitution to the family or the state.)
In all my life many say to be a suffusion of struggle to house, clothe, feed and otherwise provide for my family, far from it. In fact, neither has it been without some rough spots along the way. There is no day without night.
And I believe that my family and I came to appreciate our bounty all the more for having experienced both times and belt-tightening and penny-pinching.
For those and many other reasons, I simply could not allow something like that to occur. I could not stand by and just let the State of California, El Dorado County, or Placerville sell off everything I owned and then distribute the proceeds however they saw fit.
I had already donated a fair sum to this part of the world. And my reluctance to continue that largesse cannot be overstated.
By the time I got back to Mammoth Lakes from Idaho, it was all pretty much done except for a few loose ends, and I could simply wait for the authorities to arrive, which is what I did.
Your Honor, I sent money to my friend as a way to help her obtain her goals of going to Arizona to visit and travel around the state sightseeing and working on her photography. She was very good at it, and we discussed the possibilities of publishing and/or showing some of her finished work at sometime.
I was happy for my friend, Your Honor, glad that I could help her on her way to fulfilling her dreams. I know just how good it feels to sit—to sit and to achieve life goals and besides the fact that all plans are usually only good for the first 30 minutes once they are implemented.
But nevertheless, it is nevertheless both necessary and fun to make them. They generally tend to serve as guideposts along the way, and it is always fun to compare the estimate with the end result.
I also had plans, Your Honor, long-range plans that I had been firming up for a number of years. Plans that involved the sale of my business, the initiation of my retirement accounts, the purchase of (and) outfitting of a new boat, and the setting up of accounts that I could access with no problem.
I have made many passages all over the Central and South Pacific, some 200,000-plus nautical miles at last count. I intended to do another thirty or forty thousand miles to that total by sailing up to Alaska and just deploying the coast from there down to Tumaco to South America taking perhaps a couple of years to do that, approximately 50,000 miles, give or take.
(I see people in the courtroom looking around at each other again with that same look on their faces. What the hell does this have to do with you killing Kacie!!!)
It wasn’t meant to be, I suppose. In a few minutes this will all be over with and we will all go our separate ways. Most of you here today will take a certain amount of satisfaction that I will die in prison. So be it.
(Wahhh, wahh, wahh!!)
Life guarantees two things, that we all die and, two, that we all die alone. It doesn’t matter where we are when this happens, nothing can be done to change it. And we either go on from there or we do not, depending on your beliefs.
I believe that I have been here before and that I will be here again. And one of these times I will get it right and won’t have to continue these visits anymore.
It doesn’t matter to me that any of you believe this or not. It only matters that I believe it.
I have many things to be grateful for in my life, especially my son.
I also have a few regrets, most especially that I ever left my other home and came to this place, and that is my last word on the subject.
THE COURT: Thank you. One thing, Mr. Lozano, that speaks loud. Based on your statement to this court, I didn’t hear one word of remorse for the victim or the family of the victim for your conduct on the 26th of July of 2006.
I think that the remorse, if you have any at all, is only because of the predicament that you currently find yourself in.
The jury having found the defendant guilty of Count I, murder in the first degree, 187 of the Penal Code, the Court adopts Count I as the base term.
The defendant shall be committed to the California Department of Corrections for Count 1 for the term of 25 years to life.
The jury further found the defendant was personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing death, and an enhancement which requires an imposition of an additional 25 years to life to run consecutive.
Total term of commit(ment) to the California Department of Corrections for Count I with the enhancement is 50 years to life.
Total—the jury on Count II found you guilty of 10857 of the Vehicle Code, commonly known as auto theft. The Court imposes the midterm of two years in State Prison for Count II. The Court finds that the crime was committed at the same time and place as Count I and orders this sentence to run concurrent with Count I
Total time of commitment to the California Department of Corrections is 50 years to life.
The defendant is given credit for 644 days actually served pending these proceedings.
The defendant is assessed a civil judgment pursuant to Penal Code 1202.44(f) for restitution in the amount of $2,741.96. Said amount is Payable to the California State Victim Compensation Board.
Defendant is assessed a civil judgment for Penal Code 1202.4(f) for restitution to the victims in this case, and in the amount to be determined by the probation department.
The defendant is ordered to pay a restitution fine in the amount of $5,000 pursuant to 1202.4.
The defendant is to pay a restitution fine, a parole revocation fine, in the amount of $5,000 pursuant to Penal Code Section 1202.45. And this fine is stayed pending satisfactory completion of parole.
The Court finds the defendant is able to pay a cost of the probation report in the sum of $460 pursuant to Penal Code Section 296.
The defendant is advised that he is subject to a period of parole for up to five years following release from the Department of Corrections and any violation of the condition of parole can subject you to incarceration up to one year for each such violation.
You are advised of your right to appeal this sentence and/or the verdict in this matter. You must file your written notice of intention to appeal in the Superior Court within 60 days of today, signed by you and your attorney.
If you do appeal, you have the right to a complete transcript of the trial proceedings at no cost to you.
You also have the right to a court-appointed attorney to represent you if you do not have the financial ability to retain the service of an attorney to assist you with an appeal.
If you do not file your written notice of intent to appeal within 60 days of today, your right to file an appeal will be lost forever.
Do you understand what I just told you about your appeal rights, Mr. Lozano?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: And do you have any question you wish to ask me about your appeal rights?
THE DEFENDANT: No.
THE COURT: Defendant is remanded to the custody of the sheriff of El Dorado County for the transportation to the California Department of Corrections.
The reporter is directed to prepare a transcript of the entire sentencing proceeding and file a copy with the clerk of the court. This matter is concluded.
(The proceedings concluded.)
As we gethered outside the courtroom, Dale Gomes commented that most of what Mario was whining about were lies anyway.