COLUSA COUNTY -- A family thought they had gotten justice for the murder of a Colusa County teen. But now, one of the men responsible could be let out of prison.
Erik Ingebretsen was brutally murdered by his two best friends back in 1997; now, one of them has a chance at getting paroled because of a law passed last October.
Saturday, the victim’s sister pleaded for the killer to stay behind bars.
21 years after her brother’s murder, the pain of Devin Lombardi’s loss, never faded away.
“I think about him every day,” Lombardi said. “I wake up, I think about him. I go to sleep, I think about him. It’s the one thing that makes me feel close to him still.”
In 1997, Nathan Ramazzini and Leopoldo Contreras brutally murdered their friend, 16-year-old Eric Ingebretsen.
“He’s known [Ramazzini] since the fourth grade. They were truly best friends,” Lombardi stated.
Colusa County Sheriffs searched for two days, only to find Ingebretsen’s body in a remote field, beaten and stabbed.
A judge Sentenced Ramazzini to life in prison plus a year, without the chance for parole.
“It’s the one thing they could give us. You can’t give us Erik back. But they could give us the justice we deserve, which is his life sentence,” Lombardi said.
But now that’s in jeopardy because Ramazzini is scheduled for a re-sentencing hearing on Tuesday, making parole a possibility.
It’s possible because of Senate Bill 9 which was signed into law in 2012.
Under the law, convicted murderers who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime, can petition for re-sentencing if they were not granted the possibility of parole.
“There are special circumstances where people are born inherently bad. They are sick. They are sociopaths. You can’t rehabilitate that, if they show no remorse. Nathan has shown no remorse. Criminals like him show no remorse,” expressed Lombardi.
Now, Lombardi and her family are fighting for her brother’s killer to stay in prison, and their community of Colusa County has their backs; posting hundreds of yard signs around town that read: “Justice for Erik.”
“This didn’t just wreck our family, this wrecked our entire town. And I think this is the way that they show that,” Lombardi said.
Family and community members plan to rally outside of the Colusa County courthouse on Tuesday during the re-sentencing hearing, showing they want Ramazzini kept behind bars.