PORTLAND – Tensions were high as families from two rival gangs crowded the courtroom Friday for the sentencing hearing for two men who gunned down a 19-year-old Woodburn man.
The victim's family gave emotional testimony to a judge in a courtroom lined by about a dozen deputies just in case things got violent.
Javier Sanchez and Erasmo Lopez were convicted of murdering 19-year-old Tomas Montez-Sanchez in May of 2011.
Background: 2 arrested in deadly shooting of Woodburn teen
After a neighborhood confrontation, the two men returned and shot the teen, who was supposedly not the intended target.
Friday was very emotional for the victim's family. They asked the judge for tough punishments, and several broke down during their testimony.
“I don't want another family to go through this. It’s so hard and painful. At least they are going to have their families," said one family member.
”There is no day that passes by that we cannot stop thinking about him, and it's very hard," said another family member.
The judge says this shooting devastated the Hispanic community. He sentenced Lopez to 35 years in prison because he accepted responsibility for the shooting.
Sanchez was sentenced to 45 years. He was found guilty in trial. The judge scolded him and called him a "gross liar."
After the volatile hearing, families had to be escorted by deputies out of the courthouse separately.