TAMPA - After waiting six years for the moment that finally arrived Friday morning in a Tampa courtroom, Adama Scott asked for a few more seconds.
"This is very emotional for me," Scott cried. "Just bear with me."
The widow of Chuck "Glen" Rich, Scott told Judge William Fuente she wakes up everyday to a nightmare, at the center of which is the man who sat just feet away, head hung, handcuffed, wearing a red inmate jumpsuit.
Donald Montanez met Scott's husband on January 8, 2006 near the Sugar Shack nightclub in Tampa, where Montanez towed the couple's car. Rich demanded it back, and as he drove off, Montanez fired a shot through the driver's side window.
"Even though he was dying, he remembered to call me and tell me he loved me," Scott said.
Friday stood as the final chapter in a book of 2,244 days, as counted by Rich's brother, Celester. Prosecutors called Montanez a pathological liar with an extensive criminal history. They released a Philadelphia jail booking photo, on which Montanez's real last name reads in small black type: "Rivera."
"Everything about his conduct that night and everything about his life has been a lie," said Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner. "He lied…about a murder weapon he had no right to bear, own, or possess that night."
The law required a 25-year sentence, but Judge Fuente handed down 35, all of them mandatory.
"Whatever his name is, he's been dead to me a long time," Celester said. "So no amount of time in prison can undo the irreparable damage he's caused."
In one of the few moments of emotion from the defense table, Montanez appeared to tear up as Rich's mother, Eva Stephens, spoke directly to him.
"I want to say to Mr. Montanez, he is truly forgiven," Stephens said. "He still has a chance."
It's a chance at life that Rich no longer has, echoed family members. Scott told Judge Fuentes their son often prayed for God to bring his daddy back. Remembering some of her husband's last words, she told him to pray for justice instead.
"I could hear fear and tears in his voice," Scott cried. "I remember him saying that he loved me and that he was sorry he was going to die."
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