MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida man was sentenced to 45 years in state prison for the murders of two men, including his neighbor, back in 2010.
Matthew Guzman sat stern-faced in a Downtown Miami courtroom on Monday as he faced the families of Paul Barrow and Harry Ray. His sentence comes as part of a plea deal.
Barrow’s daughter said this sentence is insufficient when considering the magnitude of the crimes. “Nothing will bring my dad back, and I guess justice is kind of served but not really,” said Stefani Barrow. “I wish he could have gotten life.”
Authorities said Guzman confessed to killing Ray, his longtime neighbor in Southwest Miami-Dade, on Nov. 18, 2010. The defendant also confessed to killing Barrow, an auto shop co-owner, on Dec. 16 that same year.
Ray’s sister, Faith Xenos, shared an anecdote as she addressed the defendant in court. “The following day we were at his home trying to sort out the crime scene. As we cleaned out the family house, you came over to ask us if you could help,” she said. “What were you thinking? What kind of animal were you? Did you get some type of sick pleasure revisiting the murder scene?”
Investigators said Barrow had just given Guzman a job at the time of his murder. 7News cameras captured the crime scene outside the shop.
“How could someone do this to this guy?” said a visibly distraught onlooker.
Detectives said Guzman, who told the judge he is currently taking medication for a mental illness, believed his victims were racist or gay, and that’s why, he said, he killed them. The defendant added he thought both men were coming on to him.
“I’m never gonna have closure for this, ever,” said Audree Barrow, the victim’s widow.
Guzman’s prison sentence will be followed by six years of probation and mental health counseling.
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