Thu. May 23rd, 2024

A Washington State man was sentenced to 37 years in prison this week for the 2018 murder of his teenage girlfriend, who was just days away from graduating high school when she was brutally attacked and left for dead, authorities said.

In a statement on September 6, the Kent Police Department said that a jury found Giovanni Herrin guilty of murdering 18-year-old Karyme Barreto-Sabalza. According to police, the sentencing comes after three trials and two previous jury convictions.

On June 16, 2018, Herrin, who was 19 at the time, lured his girlfriend to Salt Air Vista Park in Kent, police said. There, he strangled her and shot her in the head, before police say he left her there to die.

According to police, Herrin stole the victim’s car, took money from her bank account and used it to buy marijuana.

Despite being severely hurt, Barreto-Sabalza was found alive by a passerby on the trail, police said. However, she later died as a result of her injuries.

According to police, Barreto-Sabalza was killed just days before her high school graduation. She was expected to start nursing school on a scholarship.

“A few weeks prior to killing the victim, the victim sent messages to her friends indicating that she was fearful of the defendant and that she was fearful for her life,” court records show.

Herrin was booked into the King County Correctional Facility on June 20, 2018, public jail records show.

On July 4, 2018, Herrin was taken to a local hospital after he reported feeling sick, court records show. While there, Herrin escaped, got into a Lyft, and injured the driver before an officer was able to track down Herrin and shoot him. He was then brought back to the hospital.

The Kent Police Department congratulated its officers for their efforts in “putting this murderer behind bars for a long time,” as well as the witnesses who “stepped up.”

“The conviction and sentencing will not bring Karyme back, but it does bring some measure of justice to the people who loved her,” police said.

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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 |