BARSTOW Due to new evidence, a judge delayed the sentencing Wednesday of a former Barstow Community College professor found guilty of murdering a Camp Pendelton Marine.
Issa Wajeel was convicted of killing Michael Firkins a 20-year-old Marine and Tacoma, Washington native who was allegedly trying to syphon gasoline from a truck parked in Wajeel's driveway in July 2008.
Scott Seely, Wajeel's attorney, asked the court for continuance because of information he only became aware of Tuesday.
Judge Glenn Yubano agreed against Deputy District Attorney Sean Daugherty's objections to withhold the sentencing of 52-year-old Wajeel until May 6.
Daugherty and Seely discussed the nature of the evidence in Yubano's chambers but refused to comment about it otherwise.
Michael Firkins' parents Dean and Vicky Firkins flew in from Washington to read impact statements for the sentencing. They read their statements even though the sentencing would not happen Wednesday.
"Murder should rank high on the punishment spectrum and we request he is judged to the fullest extent of the law." said Dean Firkins.
During the statements, Wajeel who was confined to a wheelchair remained motionless and never looked in the Firkins' direction.
On the night of the shooting Firkins was discovered by police slumped over in the driver's seat of his pickup truck with a gunshot wound to his right temple about 60 feet from Wajeel's driveway. Police then noticed Wajeel standing in the front doorway of his house holding a gun.
"It's been two and half years to sentence him there is nothing new that they need to do," said Dean Firkins, after the hearing.
Wajeel was arrested and charged with murder immediately following the shooting, but the district attorney didn't pursue the charge, saying the defendant acted in self defense. The district attorney's office filed voluntary manslaughter charges against Wajeel in December 2008. Murder charges were filed again in May 2010.
Wajeel was found guilty of murdering Firkins on March 22 and could face 50 years to life in prison.
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