SAN JOSE — Kelly Sparry hasn’t had an excellent evening’s sleep in additional than three years, she advised a crowded courtroom Friday in San Jose, the place a choose was about to cross sentence on her son’s killer.
“I don’t dream anymore,” Sparry stated.
Backed by greater than 30 household and mates, she tearfully described the persevering with trauma she experiences from the demise of her son Kyle Myrick in January 2016. His killer, Steve Douglas Hlebo, was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in jail.
“I shouldn’t be right here. I must be at residence speaking to Kyle and asking him about his day,” Sparry stated of her 28-year-old son. “My new regular is pretending every part is OK.”
One after the other, a number of of Myrick’s members of the family spoke in court docket, a few of them on to Hlebo, who sat grimacing and repeatedly regarded down as he was being addressed. Sporting matching blue T-shirts emblazoned with “Justice for Kyle” on the entrance, the members of the family spoke of Myrick’s beneficiant spirit, together with his knack with youngsters and his willingness to drop every part at a second’s discover if a pal wanted a journey or somebody to hearken to their troubles. Myrick was additionally remembered as a gearhead, with an unbridled ardour for using and dealing on motorbikes.
“He was an all-around good particular person and deserved to reside a full life,” his stepfather John Sparry stated.
Many audio system on the sentencing described Hlebo as failing to precise any regret in regards to the killing throughout the three years of court docket hearings within the case, prompting push-back from court-appointed protection lawyer Annrae Angel. Angel stated her consumer wrote apology letters after his arrest, and that he was restricted from expressing extra by the trial course of. Hlebo didn’t testify on the trial.
However in a shock flip, Hlebo on Friday did provide Myrick’s household an apology, in what seemed to be his first public admission of his guilt.
“I spent a very long time making an attempt to determine what I wished to say to Kyle’s family members,” Hlebo stated. “I’m sorry for the lack of the one you love. I’m sorry for Kyle.”
He added: “Kyle’s passing rests on my shoulders and is heavy on my coronary heart. I’m horrified, shocked and haunted by my actions.”
Nonetheless, Myrick’s household was skeptical.
“I believe he was making an attempt to make issues good for when his parole comes up,” John Sparry stated. “I don’t suppose he’s sorry.”
Kelly Sparry echoed these doubts: “It felt like sort of an act,” she stated.
Through the trial in April, neither the prosecution nor protection disputed that Hlebo, 42, killed 28-year-old Myrick in an deserted storage constructing at GP Sports activities on Camden Avenue. However Deputy District Lawyer Sumerle Davis and Angel argued over whether or not the killing was a results of a premeditated assault.
Myrick was final seen alive on the store on Jan. 22, 2016, the day he’s now believed to have been killed. His disappearance — police discovered a severed ear mendacity a pool of blood within the storage constructing on the store — set off a week-long search. Hlebo even briefly joined the search effort earlier than he was arrested the following morning, with Myrick nonetheless lacking. On Jan. 28, 2016, San Jose police, counting on suggestions from co-workers about Hlebo’s biking habits within the Santa Cruz Mountains, positioned Myrick’s physique off Jamison Creek Street close to Boulder Creek.
No clear motive for the assault was ever established, although Davis submitted into proof a recorded jail name during which Hlebo advised his brother, “Dude simply caught me on the fallacious day.” The weapon used to kill Myrick was additionally by no means recovered, however San Jose police detectives testified about retrieving steel brackets from GP Sports activities that matched a “bolt sample” on Myrick’s neck famous in an post-mortem report.
Hlebo’s conviction for second-degree homicide — a jury determined there wasn’t sufficient proof to show the killing was premeditated — entailed a most sentence of 15 years to life. Myrick’s household stated they had been sad with that final result as a result of, with the three-plus years Hlebo had already spent within the Santa Clara County jail, he’s prone to be eligible for parole in a couple of decade.
A number of of Myrick’s relations stated they’d be there to attend the parole hearings to argue towards him ever being freed.
“I hope he spends the remainder of his days in jail,” Myrick’s older brother Richard stated.