SALINAS (AP) — A judge sentenced a 20-year-old man to three life terms for torturing, starving and killing two children whose bodies were found in a California storage unit.
While sentencing defendant Gonzalo Curiel, Judge Pamela Butler said he never deserves to walk free again, the Salinas California reported .
“The cruelty exhibited, the intentional torture, the beatings, starvings, the efforts to exert authority and control, are really reflective of a ruthlessness that is rarely seen,” Butler said.
“Regardless of how you behave in state prison, regardless of what you do to better yourself, you should never get out of state prison,” she added.
Curiel was sentenced Wednesday for the 2015 killings of 6-year-old Shaun Tara and his 3-year-old sister Delylah Tara.
Authorities say the children died from abuse at the hands of Curiel and their aunt, Tami Joy Huntsman, 41, in her Salinas home. Curiel also was convicted of torturing their 9-year-old sister.
Huntsman pleaded guilty in February to two counts of murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
Authorities began investigating after finding the oldest child injured in the backseat of an SUV in 2015.
The girl told investigators that Huntsman and Curiel killed her younger siblings on Thanksgiving after she was caught stealing a bagel.
“She and her siblings were punched, choked, kicked, hit with belts and other objects, refused food, zip-tied to their beds or chairs, and locked in a dark, cold, cement bathroom, often without their clothes, for hours or even days,” prosecutors wrote.
Asked by the judge during sentencing if he wanted to say anything, Curiel replied, “No.”