PINELLAS COUNTY, FLA - The man who pleaded guilty to killing a Tarpon Springs police officer took the stand today, during his sentencing hearing.
Marco Antonio Parilla Junior tried apologizing inside a courtroom today to Officer Charles Kondek's widow, his children, his father, the Tarpon Springs Police Department, and the entire community.
Back in 2014, Officer Kondek responded to a noise complaint at the Glen Eureka Apartments. Parilla was on probation. We're told he was looking for an old roommate, who he was mad at for snitching on him. Parilla pleaded guilty to shooting and killing Kondek. Today Parilla said he was ashamed for what he did, speaking directly to Kondek's family.
"That I’m truly honestly sorry for what I’ve done to cause hurt and pain in your life and I know that I will carry this burden with me forever because I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done to you and your family," Parilla said.
During cross examination, the prosecution said Parilla had a choice that night.
Prosecution: "And now today you’re going to ask this jury to make a choice for you. Is that right?"
Prosecution: "And let your life be here to communicate with your kids and families, when you.....you made that decision for Officer Kondek?"
A jury will have to decide whether Parilla will face life in prison or the death penalty. Because of a new law that passed last year in Florida, the jury has to unanimously vote for the death penalty for it to be a possibility.
The sentencing hearing continues tomorrow. We're told there is one last witness followed by closing arguments.