TEEN GETS 11 YEARS IN AGOURA KILLING.
A teen-ager who drove four youths to an Agoura Hills home moments before another youth was stabbed to death last summer was sentenced Friday to 11 years in state prison for his role in the killing.
Malibu Superior Court Judge Lawrence Mira sentenced Chris Velardo to the maximum terms for voluntary manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery, nearly a year after he pleaded guilty to the crimes. Sentencing for Velardo, now 18, was delayed until after the trial and sentencing for four other defendants, who were convicted of first-degree murder.
Velardo has been housed at Sylmar Juvenile Hall since his arrest following the stabbing death of James P. Farris III on May 22 of last year.
Mira gave the Agoura Hills youth credit for 708 days of jail time and referred him to the California Youth Authority. Corrections officials will decide whether Velardo can remain with the CYA until age 25 or when he is eligible for release.
A jury in May convicted the four other youths of stabbing Farris inside a shack behind the home of Michael McLoren. Farris was lifting weights outside the shack with McLoren, who was his friend and neighbor, when the four showed up to steal marijuana from a locked dresser drawer. The four attacked McLoren, and Farris was fatally stabbed attempting to protect McLoren, according to trial testimony and evidence.
For their convictions of first-degree murder and the special allegation of murder during the course of an attempted robbery, Brandon Hein, 19, of Oak Park, Tony Miliotti, 19, of Westlake Village and Jason Holland, 19, of Thousand Oaks were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Micah Holland, now 16, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison because he was 15 at the time of the crime.
Prosecutors charged that Velardo drove the four youths to McLoren's home but did not enter the back yard or join in the attempted robbery, and then drove them away following the fatal stabbing.
Velardo initially was charged with murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors agreed to drop the more serious charges in exchange for Velardo's guilty plea.
Defense attorney Charles English said the lesser charges were more reasonable because Velardo did not join the other defendants in the attack that left Farris dead and McLoren wounded.
During the trial for the four others, Jason Holland admitted stabbing McLoren and Farris. The knife was never recovered, but prosecutors said the murder weapon was a pocketknife with a two-inch blade.