Man who killed San Diego State University administrator sentenced

Paul Tomasini sentenced to 16 years to life

EL CAJON, Calif. - A handyman who bludgeoned a San Diego State University administrator to death when she tried to break off their romantic relationship was sentenced Monday to 16 years to life in state prison.

Paul Carl Tomasini, 65, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the killing last Sept. 30 of Mary Shojai, who was the director of student disability services at SDSU.

At Tomasini's arraignment last year, prosecutor Amy Colby told a judge that the 62-year-old victim had been scheduled to pick up a friend at the airport, but failed to show. When the traveler went to the woman's home in the 10500 block of Strathmore Drive, she saw the defendant pacing inside, Colby said.

According to the prosecutor, both the friend and the defendant called law enforcement, and deputies who responded around 10 p.m. found the mother of two adult children on the floor in a pool of blood.

Investigators found two large candlesticks and a wooden mallet nearby, she said, adding that blood and hair were found on the base of the mallet and the candlesticks.

An autopsy determined that the victim had been struck 17 times, according to Colby.

According to San Diego State's website, Shojai worked for 37 years at SDSU, where a colleague called her "a transformational leader" who got things done. Shojai was three months from retirement, when she – a mother of two – was killed.

Shojai's younger brother, Carl Stemm, who was in town from Minneapolis for the sentencing, called this a day of justice. He wore a purple ribbon in his sister's honor.  

But outside the courtroom, he told 10News that the 16 years to life sentence is not enough.

"We're not happy with 16 years, but we understand the difficulties of prosecuting cases and the length of time this might have strung out," Stemm told 10News. "We'll do our best – family, friends and colleagues – to make sure some of us are still around to make sure he does spend the rest of his life in prison."

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