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Larry Ray Richey tearfully begged forgiveness of the family whose patriarch he fatally punched at a gas station before he was sentenced Friday to eight years in state prison.
“I know I made a terrible mistake and I ask for leniency,” said Richey, facing Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang, attorney Keith Staten at his side. “I ask for forgiveness. I have endless remorse and shame.”
Lawrence Windham’s only error Dec. 12, 2016, was parking too close to Richey’s car at the pumps at a Watt Avenue AM/PM mini-market. The two briefly exchanged words before Richey, then 21, pummeled the 85-year-old Windham.
Richey broke Windham’s jaw in two places, but Windham absorbed the blows and managed to make his way to his scheduled doctor’s appointment. Windham died later that evening and Richey was later arrested on charges of elder abuse causing great bodily injury.
Sacramento Superior Court jurors convicted the Rio Linda man in February. Richey had faced a maximum term of 10 years in state prison before Chang handed down the eight-year term.
“This is a tragic case,” Chang said from the bench. “Both families have suffered a loss. One family has suffered the death of their patriarch. Another family has lost a son for a stupid act in which he lost control.”
Richey had no criminal record before the fateful punch. Now 23 and facing years in prison, Richey told Windham’s family and Chang that he lives with the shame of that day.
“My heart hurts with the thought of the pain I have caused you all. What I did was completely unjustified,” Richey said at the morning hearing.
Family members used their victim impact statements to remember a man generous with friends, beloved at home and painfully missed, none more so than Windham’s wife of 63 years, Nancy.
Daughter Debbie McKinney read mother Nancy Windham’s statement. “My husband was my companion for 63 years. My life collapsed when (Richey) killed him,” she wrote in calling on Chang to impose the maximum sentence. “I miss him.”