VICTORVILLE • A Hesperia man was sentenced Tuesday to 35 years to life in prison for murdering a 27-year-old almost four years ago.
Victorville Superior Court Judge Jules Fleuret punished Troy Dante Fava, 27, with the maximum possible prison term under the law, after a jury convicted him last month of the first-degree murder of Adam Atencio.
"I'm glad this is over because it's been a long time," Linda Atencio, the victim's mother, said.
In March 2008, Troy Dante Fava — along with Peter Michael Lewis, Christopher Shane Rivera and Charles Bruce Carr — went to confront Lucas Buckingham at his Hesperia apartment. Carr testified that Fava wanted to beat up Buckingham for threatening his family.
Atencio was visiting Buckingham when Fava, Lewis and Rivera walked into the apartment and into Buckingham's bedroom, though what happened next is not very clear, prosecutors said.
Buckingham testified he and Fava got into a physical fight in the bedroom. Then they heard a thud, and Fava and Lewis headed to the living room. According to Carr's testimony, Rivera said he shot Atencio because the victim wouldn't stop shooting.
The jury also found Fava guilty of burglary and grand theft.
Cliff Peters, Fava's attorney, asked the court for a mitigated term Tuesday, arguing that Fava wasn't a shooter and didn't know his co-defendants had a gun. But the judge said Fava was the instigator of the crime.
Rivera and Lewis have both been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 33 years to life in prison.
Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.