Justice has been served for a Hesperia family, three years after their matriarch was shot and killed by a tagging crew.


Last week, 22-year-old Ricard David Real the last of four defendants in the case pleaded guilty in Victorville Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Seutatia "Sue" Tausili, 65. Real, who could get 26 years in prison when he is sentenced in early August, also admitted to participating in a criminal street gang and using a firearm.


Earlier, Brian Dominguez, 21, Brandon Dominguez, 23, and Robert Dominguez, 26, were sentenced for their participation in the crime.


During the early evening in late August in 2007, Vaovasa Penusatele, his brother and cousin confronted Real and the Dominguezes as the foursome tagged graffiti on their property in the 11900 block of First Avenue. But what began as a fist fight turned deadly as one of the perpetrators took out a gun and began shooting.


Penusatele would learn later as he was treated at Desert Valley Hospital that he had been shot in the leg.


"I didn't even know until later, because of the adrenaline," he told a reporter.


But the tagger also shot Penusatele's grandmother in her side. She died at the hospital about an hour later.


The loss of Tausili was devastating to her family.


"I just fell apart. I didn't know what to say, I couldn't even talk," Tausili's daughter Tua Penusatele said a week after the incident.


The crime brought to light the Victor Valley's graffiti issue. In Hesperia, a graffiti abatement crew cleaned up 2,687 locations and 3,319 city signs, according to a Hesperia spokeswoman. The city had budgeted $224,818 for a second abatement team.


"They don't realize what their activities can lead to in terms of consequences, and they certainly don't care about the impact on the community," Deputy Joe Catalano of the Sheriff's Department High Desert Regional Gang Team said of some taggers.


Soon after Tausili was killed, family members traveled from Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand to attend a local ceremony. Afterward, Tausili's remains were transported to Samoa for a traditional Samoan burial.


"All we're doing is trying to stay strong and keep everyone together," Penusatele said in 2007. "Our grandmother would have told us to pray for them and to forgive them even though they did what they did."


Daily Press court reporter Tomoya Shimura and former staff writer Katherine Rosenberg contributed to this story.