Buffalo Man Gets 20 Years Behind Bars

July 21, 2011 Updated Jul 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

...
July 21, 2011 Updated Jul 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM EDT

Buffalo N.Y. (WKBW)- Pedro Ramos, 30, stood in court without emotion as his sentence for First-Degree Manslaughter was read. He pled guilty to the charge back in June after shooting Norbert Garcia Tapia.

Ramos spoke out in court.

"I wrecked his whole life and I'm here to take full responsibility," Ramos said.

Defense Attorney Tony Lana said he and his client say the punishment fits the crime.

"I think it was fair given the options. He could have faced up to 25 years to life," Lana said.

The two men were related through a common law marriage.

"It's difficult because the victim and suspect where pseudo brother in laws. They weren't married through a religious ceremony but they had children with two sisters and they were very close," Lana said

Lana said the conflict between the two men goes back six months before the actual shooting in March. He said that Ramos was being threatened by the victim and said Ramos feared for his life. He then armed himself with a gun shooting Tapia numerous times.

The Assistant District Attorney Gary Hackbush doesn't buy the self defense claim and either does the victim's wife. A statement was read in court on behalf of the Tapia's family.

"For whatever stupid, silly reason this defendant decided to take the street justice in to his own hands and rob this man of his life," Hackbush said.

Ramos also injured an innocent bystander in the shooting. He now has 30 days to appeal the sentence.