SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A court sentenced a Northern California man to 17 years to life in prison on Monday for beating a fellow gym patron to death with a weightlifting bar.
Kenneth Osako, 46, pleaded guilty earlier this year to second-degree murder in a plea deal with prosecutors. Osako said at the time that uncontrolled rage caused by steroid use was to blame for the September 2014 attack.
San Mateo County District Attorney James Wagstaffe said Osako attacked Diego Galindo, 44, from behind while Galindo sat on an exercise machine at a Bally Total Fitness gym in South San Francisco. The attack occurred in front of several horrified workout enthusiasts and investigators say Osako’s motive remains unclear.
Wagstaffe said that days before the attack, Galindo jokingly offered Osako’s girlfriend a ride on his motorcycle. Wagstaffe also said that Osako said he misunderstood a conversation the two men had in Spanish in the gym’s locker room a few minutes before the attack. Osako said his grasp of Spanish was tentative, but he thought he heard Galindo say the Spanish word for “fight.”
Galindo was a butcher in South San Francisco, which shares its northern border with San Francisco.
“Mr. Osako is very remorseful,” Osako’s attorney Steven Chase said. “He apologized to the victim’s family.”
Chase said a psychiatrist concluded that Osako’s use of steroid and methamphetamine contributed to the attack.
Chase said Osako “was bulked up, a very muscular person” when they first met 17 months ago. He has since lost more than 30 pounds and appears “slight of stature,” Chase said.
Osako was a plumber and raised four daughters and a son, Chase said. The judge agreed to delay Osako’s transportation from jail in Redwood City, California to prison be delayed two weeks so he could marry his girlfriend.