WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas -- A Williamson County judge sentenced Fred Yazdi to 20 years confinement Wednesday morning for the murder of Texas State University student Enrique Recio.
Before reading the sentence, Judge Bert Richardson said he would have preferred a jury of 12 people to decide Yazdi's punishment instead of him. He said it's a tragedy for both families.
"If Mr. Recio had just stumbled in another front yard that night, he would probably still be alive," said Richardson.
The judge also said the Yazdi case is a perfect storm of irresponsible behavior, but he understands the fear in the Yazdi house the night Recio was shot.
Judge Richardson said Yazdi should have stayed in his house and that the situation could have easily been resolved if police would have handled Recio. He noted that Recio was climbing over a fence, not on Yazdi's property, when Yazdi shot him.
The judge said he was mindful about Yazdi's two young sons when determining their father's sentence.
Yazdi faced between five and 99 years in prison.
Following Yazdi's sentencing the Recio family told KVUE News justice has been served, but no matter how long the sentence, it won't bring Enrique back.
"My daughter misses him and still cries for him, but we still keep his memory alive by remembering the good time we had with him, and that's all that we can really do now. We just really miss him," said Claudia Recio, Enrique's sister.
On Tuesday an emotional Yazdi took the stand for the first time telling the judge what happened.
"My intent at that moment when I fired my weapon was not for him to die; it was to stop him from firing at me," Yazdi said through tears. "I never meant for him to die. I had nothing against him. I did not know him."
After Yazdi's testimony the judge decided to delay his decision to go over evidence. The sentence was announced Wednesday just before 9:30 a.m.
The bailiff took Yazdi into custody immediately following the reading of the sentence.
Yazdi's attorneys now have 30 days to file an appeal, and they told KVUE News they plan to do so.
"He wasn't some trigger happy nut that the state tried to make him out to be. He was defending his wife and family, the jury didn't see it that way and so it goes," said defense attorney Bob Phillips.
Yazdi must serve half of his sentence, 10 years, before he is eligible for parole.