SANTA ANA — A judge sentenced 14-year-old Richard Hubler of Anaheim to the California Youth Authority today for second-degree murder in the June 14 shooting death of his 12-year-old sister, despite emotional pleas from family and friends for a lenient sentence that would have kept him in Orange County Juvenile Hall.
Superior Court Judge Robert E. Thomas said Hubler needs the time a Youth Authority commitment will require to "develop a self-discipline he answers to."
Hubler at first lied to police, telling them that intruders had shot his sister, Gema Marie Hubler, in her bedroom at their Anaheim Shores home. He later said he shot her accidentally.
But prosecutors introduced evidence that the two had argued vehemently just before the shooting. And a girlfriend Richard Hubler had been speaking with on the telephone a short time before heard him tell his sister to shut up or he would shoot her.
Hubler was on probation at the time for two previous incidents in which he possessed guns. Had he not violated his probation, Judge Thomas told him at today's sentencing hearing, "Gema would be alive today."
The judge sentenced Hubler to 17 years to life, but pointed out to his family and friends in the courtroom that under state Youth Authority guidelines, he would probably serve between five and seven years.
Hubler, in a tearful speech to the court, said, "I know what I did was wrong, but to send me to YA, I just won't get much out of it." Hubler then complained that the authorities had not permitted him to attend his sister's funeral.