Convicted murderer up for resentencing after 26 years in prison

MIAMI (WSVN) - After 26 years behind bars, a convicted murderer could be granted a shorter sentence by a Miami-Dade judge, but his victim’s family say they won’t be happy about it.

“My husband doesn’t get a second chance,” said Lori Sarnecki to the judge, Thursday.

Sarnecki, along with her family, begged for justice at the resentencing trial for the man who murdered her husband 26 years ago.

“He was shot five times,” she said in court.

At 16 years old, Nakia Huggins was found guilty of the murder of Sarnecki’s husband Paul. Huggins is currently serving life in prison for the crime.

Five years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. The decision allows for a judge to reconsider Huggins’ fate.

“He’s the one who got out of that car and made the decision to rob Paul Sarnecki,” said Assistant State Attorney Abbe Rifkin.

The fatal shooting happened outside of Sarnecki’s Italian Restaurant on South Dixie Highway.

Paul was with his then 10-year-old daughter Chrissy and 5-year-old son when armed robbers, Huggins among them, pulled up in a car and shot him to death.

7News cameras were there in 1991 when 10-year-old Chrissy took the stand. Chrissy said she was so scared after the attack that she had covered her eyes.

Twenty-six years later, Judge Victoria Del Pino will consider the prosecution’s arguments detailing Huggins’ offenses that took place during his sentence.

The numerous offenses include both armed and unarmed assault as well as two separate cases of arson in his prison cell.

“Who is the Nakia that we are going to be letting out into the community?” said Rifkin.

Huggins’ defense attorney argues that her client is a changed man who was impacted and influenced at a young age by broken home life.

But the Sarneckis, left without a father and husband, said the arguments and a changed law are not enough.

“He was our everything, and my children have had children. They’ve gotten married. My children still need their father,” said Lori.

The judge said she will make her decision regarding Nakia’s fate on Oct. 31.

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.