LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Almost four years after a fatal attempted Las Cruces burglary, the family who had already lost one son made the difficult decision to pull their second son off life support.
"It was very hard," said Melissa Molina-Machado. "He always told me to give him a fighting chance, which I did."
On Valentine's Day of 2015, 36-year-old Fernando Molina and his older brother, 37-year-old Tony Molina, attempted to stop a burglary in their neighborhood. According to police, Tony was shot dead and Fernando was critically injured.
"To see the toll that it took on him was very hard to see every day," his sister told ABC-7.
After four years of fighting for his life, she decided to take Fernando off the ventilator on Friday, a week before Thanksgiving. She said it was his fifth time on life support.
"It was very, very hard to decide to take him off of the ventilator," she said. "I thought, 'He's come off it every other time, let's just give it time, maybe he'll recover. Maybe he'll come out of this one, too.' He didn't."
Fernando left behind six children and Tony left behind four.
Their sister now wants the Third Judicial District Attorney's Office to consider additional charges against the men convicted of the fatal burglary.
According to ABC-7 records, then 19-year-old Joshua Jones received a 13-year prison sentence for shooting the two brothers. His accomplice, then 20-year-old Christopher Silva, received probation as a lookout.
The victims' sister said she hopes Fernando now rests happily with Tony.
"I know they were reunited," Molina-Machado said. "They couldn't live without each other. He proved that. So now, they're together. They're happy. He's not suffering anymore."
District Attorney Mark D'Antonio told ABC-7 that generally speaking, if a victim dies years later, additional charges might apply. He said after the holiday, he would revisit the Molinas' case.
Fernando's funeral will be Tuesday, November 27th at 6 p.m. at La Paz Funeral Home in Las Cruces. Members of the public are welcome to attend.