A three year ordeal comes to a close today in Wichita Falls for two families and it all centers around a man who wanted to protect his family from tragedy and almost ruined another family in the process-- Robert Alvarado.
Last week, he pleaded guilty to tampering or fabricating physical evidence in the 2010 murder of his son's wife, Danielle Hill Alvarado. His sentencing trial started yesterday and it ended this morning with a judge sentencing him to 20 years in prison.
Robert Alvarado's family is divided. One side believes justice is served with his 20 year sentence while the other side feels that time is much too harsh for his crime.
The final day of Robert Alvarado's sentencing trial lasted less than two hours. Both sides delivered closing arguments followed by a statement from the murdered woman's mother. Then this from Judge Bob Brotherton: "It is the judgment of this court for this offense that you be confined to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division for a term of 20 years."
The sentence ends three years of torment, wondering and waiting for Danielle Hill Alvarado's family but her mother says it does not provide closure.
"But as far as being able to put the tragedy and what's happened to her to rest and start the healing process... that I think I'm gonna be able to do now because now she's finally gotten justice," says Balynnda Dillard, Danielle's mother.
Justice Dillard says this will finally allow Danielle's eight year old daughter and the rest of her loved ones to start the healing process. Robert Alvarado's family members don't feel the same way. They say Robert's son, Jonathan, is the one who stabbed Danielle to death and his father just helped cover it up even after Jonathan committed suicide last year.
"What he did was wrong. I'm not trying to justify anything close to that. I feel for Danielle and her family, we all do, but I think 20 years is too much. If he's guilty for 20 years of something, it's for loving his son unconditionally," says Arlene Herrera, Alvarado's sister.
Judge Bob Brotherton didn't see it that way. And now, Alvarado will be a very old man if, or when, he gets out of prison.
Alvarado will begin his 20 year sentence immediately but Judge Brotherton says he will receive credit for the 301 days he's already served.
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