POMONA – Valentino Mitchell Arenas was sentenced
today to life in prison without possibility of parole for the murder
of California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Steiner outside the
Pomona courthouse last April, the District Attorney's office
Deputy District Attorney Linda Loftfield with the D. A.'s
Crimes Against Police Officers Section (CAPOS) said Arenas received
an additional 25 years to life after admitting the special
allegation of personal use of a handgun to commit the crime.
"This was a just sentence, and I'm very satisfied,"
Arenas, who turns 17 on March 18, was sentenced by Pomona
Superior Court Judge Philip Gutierrez.
Arenas pleaded guilty Dec. 6 to the first-degree murder of
the 35-year-old CHP officer on April 21, 2004, outside the Pomona
courthouse and admitted the killing was to impress members of a
Pomona street gang. He also admitted to the special circumstance
allegations of killing a police officer, lying in wait, committing a
murder during a drive-by shooting and that the killing was connected
to further a criminal street gang.
Although it was a special circumstances case, the
defendant's age precluded the District Attorney from seeking the