A 23-year-old man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing of transgendered teenager Gwen Araujo was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison.
Jaron Nabors of Newark, Calif., apologized to the victim, her family and his own family during an emotional hearing in Alameda County Superior Court.
“It’s the end of the court process, but there’s still a lot of healing to be done,” said Gloria Allred, an attorney for the victim’s family. “It’s been heartbreaking. It continues to be very painful for them.”
Nabors, who has a 4-year-old son, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter early in the case as part of a plea bargain. He testified for prosecutors about the night of Oct. 4, 2002, when the 17-year-old Araujo was beaten, strangled and buried in a shallow grave by four men after they learned she was biologically male.
Nabors, who admitted to aiding and abetting Araujo’s murder, showed authorities where the body was buried near Placerville in El Dorado County.
“There’s nothing that can be done that will take away from the immense pain of the family of the victim, but Jaron did the best he could after he had participated in this horrible event,” Nabors’ attorney, Annie Beles, said after the hearing.
Michael Magidson and Jose Merel were sentenced in January to 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder for the killing.
The fourth man, Jason Cazares, pleaded no contest to manslaughter in a plea bargain reached after two juries deadlocked on his fate.
He was sentenced to six years in prison.
Magidson and Merel had sex with Araujo in the summer of 2002 and grew suspicious that she was not a woman.
The men were accused of killing Araujo after her biological identity was revealed in a confrontation at Merel’s house in the East Bay suburb of Newark.
Araujo was born a boy named Edward, but felt her true identity was as a woman.
Nabors will spend four more weeks in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin before starting his sentence in state prison, court officials said.