Vazquez will spend decades in prison for murder of LPD Investigator Herrera

Victim's daughter to killer: 'You were a coward at that time, and you still are, and you always will be'

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A judge sentenced Felipe Vazquez to decades in prison on Wednesday for the murder of Lincoln Police Investigator Mario Herrera.

Vazquez must serve at least 71 years before he could be paroled.

In March, a jury found Vazquez guilty of the murder of Herrera.

He was found guilty on all seven charges, which included murder in the first-degree and two counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony.

See also: Felipe Vazquez found guilty of the murder of LPD Investigator Mario Herrera

During the trial, Vazquez admitted to killing Herrera but testified that he was only trying to scare officers so he could escape.

Prosecutors argued that Vazquez’s actions were premeditated.

At his sentencing hearing, Vazquez had a chance to speak to the Herrera family.

“To the family, I would like to apologize for my actions that cost the life of Mario Luis Herrera,” he said. “I know times have been hard without him, and due to my poor decision making, you are at loss, but when comfortable, I ask for y’all forgiveness.”

Herrera’s family wouldn’t accept his apology. They told the media after the hearing that it was clear that Vazquez wasn’t sincere.

They also said that he had time after the trial to show remorse and apologize but that he didn’t do that.  Instead, he was seen laughing with his attorneys.

During the hearing, Herrera’s daughter Adelina spoke publicly for the first time since her father’s death.

She did not mince her words to Vazquez.

“You shot my dad, and you ran like a coward, so here’s your chance,” Adelina said. “You can look at them, all of my family: my mom, my siblings, my grandma, my aunts and my uncles, and every single cop that my dad worked with every single day. You took away somebody from them, every single person in this courtroom. And you deserve everything you get. So you were a coward at that time, and you still are, and you always will be.”

Mario Herrera’s widow, Carrie Herrera, said going through the trial was hard for her family.

“I think we all agree the trial brought up a lot,” she said. “We did a lot of healing, and then the trial happened and we were kind of back at square one.”

And she said peace would not be the word to describe her feelings now that the ordeal is over.

“I think that people think that you get some sort of closure, some sort of peace after stuff like this. There’s none,” Herrera said. “I feel relieved that he’s where he needs to be.  I feel relieved that he’s never going to be out until he’s old. I guess that’s the word I want to use.”

Another family member said she is relieved knowing that Vazquez can’t do something like this again.

Vazquez, now 19, will be at the Nebraska Youth Correctional Institute in Omaha until he is 21. Then he will be transferred to the Tecumseh State Prison.

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