by: Deborah Horne Updated:SEATTLE —
It was emotional for Tammy Fernandes to face her daughter's killer 20 years later.
"She was easy to love and you received love back from her," Fernandes told a King County Courtroom filled with her supporters, wiping away tears as she spoke.
Missy Fernandes was just 16 when a gang rivalry turned into a deadly drive-by shooting. She was gunned down as she stood with classmates outside Ballard High School; another student was hurt. Brian Ronquillo, 16, was convicted of murder and sentenced to a half century behind bars.
Now the man who killed her is 36. He was back in a courtroom because an appeals court ruled that the original sentencing guidelines were miscalculated. The court ordered him sentenced again. Fernandes pleaded with the judge to impose again the original sentence.
"I will stand here as many times as it takes for this to happen," she said, still tearing up.
Ronquillo’s lawyer asked the judge to cut his sentence nearly in half.
For his part, Ronquillo spoke directly to Tammy Fernandes.
"I know that sorry is not enough but I truly am sorry," he said. "I'm so, so sorry. I beg for your forgiveness but I understand if you choose not to."
The judge knocked six months off his sentence -- essentially leaving it intact.
Afterward, Fernandes said, "I'm very, very happy for the ruling."
Still, Fernandes told KIRO 7 she has a message for Ronquillo. She says she has forgiven him for killing her daughter, the only way she could go on with her life.