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POMONA : Ex-Army Recruiter Gets Life Without Parole in 3 Slayings

A former U.S. Army Reserve recruiter, convicted of killing his ex-wife and her parents, was sentenced Monday to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Richard Fontes, 27, of Fontana, faced a death sentence after he was found guilty last month in Pomona Superior Court of the Oct. 5, 1993, slayings of his former wife, Suzanne Fontes, 28, and her parents, retired El Monte Police Officer Charles R. Kelly, 66, and his wife, Rachel, 63. The slayings occurred in the Kelly home in Covina.

But in the penalty phase of the trial, more than 20 witnesses testified on his behalf, including National Guard personnel, Fontes’ former Walnut High School football coach and three young Army recruits who said Fontes had been a father figure to them.

The jury then recommended a life sentence. Although the prosecutor Monday contended that Fontes was unrepentant and aggressive by presenting statements he had made during his time in county jail, Judge Alfonso Bazan agreed with the jury’s recommendation.

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