David Allyn Dokich - Serial Child Rapist / High Risk Sex Offender

Friday, July 22, 2005

Day 78 - Judge sentences Avila to death for child's murder

10:54 AM PDT on Friday, July 22, 2005

Alejandro Avila, the Lake Elsinore man convicted of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and murdering 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, was sentenced on Friday morning to death despite an empassioned statement from his victim's mother who said she wanted him to die in prison.

Avila looked straight ahead as an emotional Erin Runnion, Samantha's mother, pleaded with him to apologize for killing her daughter.

Orange County Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg imposed the sentence recommended by an Orange County jury in May. Erin Runnion said she wanted Avila to "disappear into the abyss of a lifetime in prison where no one will remember you, no one will pray for you, no one will care when you die."

Avila, 30, snatched the little girl from outside her mother's apartment three years ago. Her death was the focus of national attention and generated efforts to expand the Amber Alert system to find abducted children.

Prosecutors portrayed Avila as a sexual deviant who thirsted for children. They called as witnesses three Riverside County girls who said Avila had molested them. He was acquitted of molesting two of the girls 18 months before he grabbed Samantha.

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