Miguel Villegas Pacheco, 36, of Visalia was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Wednesday for murdering his 14-year-old stepson.
The body of Damiean “Luke” Gulley was found partially covered in Sequoia National Park in November 2013, several days after Pacheco reported him missing to police and a search was launched in Visalia.
In November, a Tulare County jury found Pacheco guilty of first-degree murder.
At sentencing, Judge Gary Paden said Pacheco never showed remorse.
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“He blames Luke. He blames his lawyer. The only person he doesn’t blame is himself,” Paden said. “You ought to look in the mirror, Mr. Pacheco, and find out who is really responsible. You are a bad man, and you deserve to go to prison for the rest of your life.”
Pacheco strangled the boy with an electrical cord, hid the body, ate dinner with his family, then dumped the body in the middle of the night, authorities said. A female park employee stumbled across it while out for a hike.
At the sentencing, the boy’s mother, Andrea Pacheco, said the murder devastated the family.
“Luke’s two younger siblings were permanently and emotionally damaged from being present in the home” when Luke was murdered, she said. “All of us are grief-stricken. … It’s a loss that I suffer each and every day.”