Calling the crime senseless and a “wake-up call to parents and teachers,” a judge handed down life sentences Wednesday to three Chatsworth teenagers who killed a man after one of them was ejected from a party following a fight.
“What frightens me . . . is the fact that I still sense no remorse on your part,” said Joan Doi, grandmother of the victim, as she looked directly at the killers.
Her grandson Jason Shaw, 20, was stabbed to death during a birthday party at his Woodland Hills residence .
The victim’s mother, Viki Arriola, was too emotional to speak, but Doi told defendants Michael Baker, 20, Christopher Bryan Paonessa, 19, and Dino Ferrari Riggio, 19, “you have devastated a family.”
“May you be behind bars for a good many years--if not forever--to make certain that you will not cause another [family] the heartbreak you have caused ours.”
With that, Superior Court Judge L. Jeffrey Wiatt handed down the maximum sentence.
Baker and Paonessa were sentenced to two life terms for Shaw’s slaying and attempted murder on Daniel Parkison, another victim at the party who survived. Riggio must serve 15 years to life for his second-degree murder conviction.
Appearing before family members and friends who packed the courtroom and nearly two dozen others who waited outside, Deputy Dist. Atty. Lea Purwin D’Agostino called the killing “a tragedy of mammoth proportions.”
“These three defendants obviously had loving and supporting parents, which makes their conduct even more reprehensible. No one takes pleasure in the prospect of three young men going to prison.”
“It’s too bad,” said Baker’s attorney Larry Baker.
“You have three kids ages 18 and 19 that may never have physical contact with their families for the rest of their lives,” Baker said. “The whole thing is an all-around waste. He added “It was a Murphy’s Law kind of thing. What could go wrong did go wrong.”
But D’Agostino said what went wrong was the defendants’ “desire for revenge.”
During last month’s trial, witnesses said Baker attended a 20th birthday party Shaw and his roommates threw for a friend.
Prosecutors said the trouble started when Baker showed up uninvited, but refused to pay $2 to cover the costs of the party.
A short time later, Baker got in a scuffle with Shaw when he tried to enter a room in which laughing gas was being dispensed. He was thrown out of the party, but vowed to return and get even.
The three defendants and several other young men returned to the home armed with knives and sticks.
The defendants burst inside, found Shaw and stabbed him in the heart and lung. Parkison was stabbed six times as he tried to help his friend.
In addition to the three primary defendants, three Simi Valley men were convicted in the same case. Bryan Zoltan Dyer, Jose David Lucus and Frederick James Estrada, were sentenced to a year in county jail each for conspiracy and were ordered to witness an autopsy upon their release.
Three minors also arrested in the incident have been certified to be prosecuted as adults and are awaiting a preliminary hearing.
“There will never be peace in the lives of any of us who knew and loved Jason,” said the victim’s aunt, Karyn Claypool.
“Peace will come in the knowledge that someone else’s child will never suffer or be scarred for life, the knowledge they will never again cause someone else’s mother to spend the rest of her life taking flowers to the grave of her much loved, and forever-missed child,” Claypool said.