VICTORVILLE The man convicted of shooting and killing a 17-year-old Sultana High School football player in 2008 was sentenced Thursday morning to 25 years to life in prison.


Mathew James Santos, 19, pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder in the death of Steven Gonzales. Santos' sentencing had been stalled so that he could testify against one of his codefendants as part of a plea deal.


Gonzales' mother, father and friend read statements in court Thursday morning before Santos was taken to state prison in Chino to serve out his sentence.


According to witness testimony during the preliminary hearing, Jose Antonio Acosta "sucker punched" the victim at a birthday party in Apple Valley in April 2008. The two got into a fight and 6-foot-3 Gonzales won.


Afterwards, Santos who is Acosta's half-brother and was 16 years old at the time shot Gonzales in the chest with a shotgun while Steven Martinez and other defendants were present, according to witnesses.


Martinez, 32, pleaded no contest in January to voluntary manslaughter and admitted to using a gun and committing the crime to benefit a gang. He is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison when he returns to court Friday.


Acosta, 28, and Gabriel Anthony Adams, 21, pleaded guilty in 2010 to voluntary manslaughter, use of a gun and participation in a criminal street gang. They were sentenced to 25 years in prison.


Sheriff's officials said the victim was not involved in any gang-related activity.