Tue. May 28th, 2024

A California man was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison Thursday for fatally shooting his sister and her 17-year-old son in 2021.

38-year-old Eric Heard showed little emotion as family members spoke tearfully about the loss of their loved ones, 34-year-old Fanchon Moore who died at the scene, and her 17-year-old son, Antonio Rodriguez, who died at Community Regional Medical Center.

Moore was shot once; Rodriguez seven times. 

Joyce Hill, one of Heard’s cousins, said she feels as though she’s lost three relatives: Moore, Rodriguez and Heard.

“I know you will probably spend the rest of your life in prison, but I want you to know that I have forgiven you,” Hill said. “And I love you with all my heart. You will be missed immensely and I hope you can find peace and forgiveness.” 

Related: Woman And Teenage Son Found Shot To Death Inside Their California Home

Hill said Heard has suffered from mental illness as well as addiction to drugs. At the time of the killings, Heard was living in his grandmother’s garage in the 4900 block of East Weathermaker Avenue in southeast Fresno. 

Heard pleaded no contest to two counts of murder. In exchange, Judge Mark Cullers sentenced Heard to 75-years-to-life. Had he gone to trial and been convicted on all counts and enhancements, Heard was facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

Defense attorney Antonio Alvarez said Heard led a difficult life and was trying to get back on his feet when the killings happened. 

Hill apologized to her cousin for the mistreatment he received from some family members. 

“I have a lot of guilt knowing the hell you were going through, living in that cold garage and with the constant disrespect from your own blood,” she said. “I am sorry, so very sorry, that you felt the need to pick up a gun and shoot your 17-year-old nephew seven times and shoot your sister once, killing them both. 

“You were supposed to be their protector, not their murderer.”

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com