Sentence for convicted murderer Oscar Rubi reduced

Rubi sentenced to 25 years to life

SAN DIEGO - A man convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole was given a reduced term Friday and could someday be freed.

Both the victim's family and the family of Oscar Rubi-Franco attended the hearing in Judge Frederic Link's courtroom Friday.

Oscar Rubi-Franco, 37, spoke softly as he turned to face the family of his victim Friday morning.

"It's hard to find the right words to apologize and ask for forgiveness," he said.

The downtown San Diego County criminal courtroom was still.

"I really can't ask for nothing because I feel I don't really deserve nothing. I am really sorry for what I did," Rubi said.

In 1993, Hank Holcomb was 56-years-old when he was killed as he got money from an ATM in Imperial Beach. Rubi, a Los Angeles gang member, was 17 years old when shot Holcomb during the attempted robbery.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus four years.

However, under Senate Bill 9 -- which became law in 2013 -- Rubi has been given a second chance since he was under 18 at the time of the crime and sentenced to life without parole.

Rubi's attorney said he is a changed man, although the deputy district attorney on the case argued that the convicted murderer was not ready for an opportunity of freedom.

Link considered the life lost of a man he called a great guy.  

"This is a two-way street. This is not just poor Mr. Rubi, this is also poor Mr. Holcomb, and I understand how this family feels," said Link.

Holcomb's daughter, Lydia Medina, brought a framed portrait of her dad to court and showed it to Rubi.  

"I want you to look at this face, the only memory I have of my dad, the only memory!" she said to Rubi.

Her brother, Gregg Holcomb, revealed some of his pain.  

"I don't have any pictures of my dad in my house, zero. I can't handle it," he said.

William Graves, the victim's son-in-law, said, "The stuff I'm hearing, I'm not convinced that you're a changed man."

Link said, "I feel so sorry for this family."  

He also expressed his laboring over fairness.  

"Is his heart so black, to use a term, that he will never, never, never change?" said Link.

Rubi was re-sentenced to 25 years to life, plus four years. He could be freed in the future, Link said.

Rubi's sister, Diana, said, "Very happy about what happened today. I know it's going to be a very long process for him."

Rubi's wife had a brief conversation with Gregg Holcomb just outside the courtroom door, and she said, "I just wanted to talk to Mr. Holcomb's son and tell him how sorry we were."

Gregg Holcomb acknowledged, "It's hard, peeling the scab off and going through it all again. I want closure, I don't want to keep going through this process and so if he gets paroled, I might want to check in and see. He did a horrendous act, but I don't even know who he is as a person so I'd like to learn more."

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