Johnny Gonzalez sentenced to 50 years in prison in beating death of off-duty police officer

EL PASO, Texas - Juan "Johnny" Gonzalez has been sentenced to 50 years in prison and no fine in the beating death of off-duty El Paso Police officer Jonathan Molina.

He faced five to 99 years in prison.

Gonzalez was convicted of Molina's murder on Monday.

Gonzalez's father was weeping and holding his head when the verdict was read but Gonzalez did not show any emotion.

After three hours behind closed doors Tuesday, the jury could not decide on a punishment for Gonzalez and was sequestered for the night before resuming sentencing deliberations Wednesday morning.

It was an emotional day of testimony in the courtroom Tuesday as the sentencing phase continued in the murder trial of Gonzalez.

To influence the jury's decision on a sentence for Gonzalez, both the prosecution and defense wanted to show the emotional impact the outcome of this trial will have.

So they called friends and family of the convicted murderer and the victim to express how the crime has impacted them.

The prosecution presented five witnesses, including Molina's former police training officer and, later on, his partner Sgt. Sandra Zamudio.

She had a hard time keeping her composure as the prosecution asked her about the training and work she and Molina shared.

"Field training is a whole lot like parenting," Zamudio said. "You see these officers be born. They cannot survive the streets without a field training officer, much like a newborn."

Jurors also heard from Gonzalez's grandmother, Maria Louisa Gonzalez.

The only defense witness fought through tears as she described how Gonzalez's arrest hit the gonzalez family as a whole.

"He's my life," Gonzaelz's grandmother said while sobbing. "I never stopped loving him."

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