Edward Livsey's family will never know exactly what happened the night the 62-year-old man was killed. But it helps to know that the man responsible for the slaying will go to prison.
"It's been over a year now since my dad was murdered, and we as a family are still struggling to understand why this happened - dealing with feelings of anger we didn't even know we were capable of experiencing - and looking for some closure," said Livsey's younger son, Kipp Livsey, in a prepared statement during Hilario Medina's sentencing on Monday. "Perhaps with this sentencing we can, at least, accomplish the latter."Following Kipp Livsey's remarks, 3rd District Judge David S. Young gave Medina, 32, a five-years-to-life prison term for his conviction of murder, a first-degree felony, and a consecutive one-to-15-years term for theft, a second-degree felony. Young also ordered Medina to pay $20,000 in fines and said he would recommend to the Board of Pardons that he serve the maximum sentence.
"Your conduct, Mr. Medina, deserves that you never be released from prison," Young said. "This was a heinous murder. You did it. The evidence convinced me you did it."
Medina's only statement: "I have nothing to say."
Medina's attorney, Paul Quinlan said he plans to appeal the verdict. Following a three-day trial in July, a jury found Medina guilty of the Aug. 25, 1997, murder.
Prosecutors relied heavily on the testimony of a single eyewitness. Roberto Sanchez Martinez, 37, testified that Livsey drove him and Medina to a secluded area in Emigration Canyon where Livsey and Medina engaged in sex acts. On their way back, Livsey and Medina began arguing.
Medina pulled out a knife, ordered Livsey out of the car, and beat Livsey on the neck with a folding knife causing him to pass out, Martinez testified. Medina then tied Livsey's hands and ankles with shoelaces, tied a bandana around Livsey's neck and dragged the body behind some bushes.
Livsey's body was found the next day near Ruth's Diner, about 3000 E. Emigration Canyon. An autopsy revealed Livsey had been strangled.
Medina and Martinez were later arrested driving Livsey's car in Las Vegas. Medina, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, maintained through-out the police investigation that he had bought the car in Las Vegas and that he had never been in Utah, but police found him in possession of a UTA bus pass and a local grocery store discount card.
Martinez was charged with theft, a second-degree felony, but prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to a class A misdemeanor in exchange for his testimony. He has since been deported to his native Mexico.
"Throughout this trial, we have heard varying versions of the events," Kipp Livsey said. "It has been very painful for both my family and myself to have my father's good name defamed and slandered in such a public manner because of the testimony of a man who either didn't have all of his facts straight or was just plain lying. As a family, we have come to terms with the reality that we will never know what really took place that day."
Kipp Livsey described his father as a "generous, kind and compassionate man" who worked two jobs to support and personally care for his wife, who had been paralyzed during a stroke seven years ago.
"He was devoted to my mom, and no one is feeling his loss more profoundly than her. Because of his death, she now has virtually no insurance coverage at all," Kipp Livsey said. "The man convicted of killing my dad has absolutely no idea what he has done."