When Gregorio Luna Luna killed his ex-girlfriend, he ultimately robbed his young son of his mother and father.
Friends of Griselda Ocampo Meza expressed how painful it was when Allen saw his mother one final time at the funeral home.
They shared the story in a letter presented to Franklin County Superior Court in Pasco before Luna Luna was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A jury convicted Luna Luna of aggravated first-degree murder in February.
Allen didn't recognize his mom until he saw her painted nails with different colors and her handmade bracelets, friends Marcelino and Elva Quiroz wrote in Spanish. They said they hugged him as he cried bitterly and told his mother goodbye.
The letter they submitted was not read in court because there was not time to translate it to English.
Ocampo Meza, 21, was killed May 24, 2010, after Luna Luna barged into her Pasco home and attacked her with a knife. She died from a stab wound to her heart.
Luna Luna had sent threatening letters vowing to kill her about a month earlier, and during the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Luna Luna engaged in a pattern of domestic abuse against Ocampo Meza.
The couple's son, Allen, now 8, was home at the time and saw his father attack his mother before her new boyfriend rushed the boy out of the apartment.
"From that moment to the next, his life changed drastically," the Quirozes wrote.
They recalled how later Allen had responded that he didn't have a dad when someone told him he could go to a Father's Day celebration.
"It's incredible how a dad says he loves his son so much and then undermines his integrity and in the process does much physical and emotional damage by snatching away (Allen's) opportunity to grow up with the person he loves most -- his mother," the couple wrote.
Ocampo Meza's family told Judge Robert Swisher in a letter they were confident he would deliver justice. And before sentencing, Special Prosecutor Andy Miller read the letter Ocampo Meza's brother sent on behalf of the family.
Her brother, who did not include his name in the letter, explained his parents continue to struggle to understand how someone they welcomed with open arms had stolen their daughter from them.
When Luna Luna decided to take Ocampo Meza to the United States from Mexico with their young son, he promised to take care of them both, her brother wrote.
And now, he destroyed his son's chance to grow up with his mother, her brother wrote.
Luna Luna declined to comment before sentencing. Swisher said before closing the sentencing that he appreciated Luna Luna being respectful during the court proceedings.
Luna Luna's attorneys Karla Kane and Shelley Ajax filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals for Luna Luna immediately after the sentencing.