Leonard Nacoa, 34, received a life sentence Friday in Tulare County Superior Court for shooting his wife to death and child abuse.
Last November, a jury found Nacoa guilty of second-degree murder and felony child abuse, according to a news release from the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
Nacoa must serve 46 years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Nacoa Shot Wife in Head With Shotgun
According to court documents, after a day of arguments with his wife on Dec. 15, 2012, Nacoa went out for drinks. When he returned to the couple’s Porterville apartment, the arguments continued. He then “racked” a shotgun in his wife’s face and shot her at point-blank range in the head.
The couple’s 2-year-old daughter was on the bed next to her mother when the shooting occurred; their 1-year-old son was nearby in his crib. Police found both children covered in blood.
The victim’s 7-year-old daughter, who was in another room during the shooting, told police that “Daddy killed Mommy.”
Left Children Alone, Fled to Mexico
Immediately after the shooting, Nacoa left the children alone in the apartment and fled to Mexico. He surrendered to law enforcement two days later.
Tulare County Deputy District Attorney Kirk Davis prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Porterville Police Department.