Family of slain Pinay says justice has been served

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 10 2014 11:18 AM | Updated as of Jul 10 2014 07:18 PM

REDWOOD CITY, California – The family of a Filipino woman killed by her own husband believes justice was served.

Tomas Infante sat quietly in court as a judge sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder of his wife, Charito Tolentino, in 2012.

"Charito will be at peace and she got the justice that she deserved," said Leticia Tolentino Macalalad, Charito’s sister.

"We're happy with the outcome, but that does not bring back our Tita Baby. Definitely happy about the verdict and sentencing, but we’re still sad," said nephew Nozelle Tolentino.

During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Tolentino’s sister and nephew read a series of emotional victim impact statements given to the court by family members.

They all described the 57-year-old registered nurse’s kindness, recalling how she helped family members as they migrated from the Philippines to the US.

They said the selfless nurse helped pave the way for Infante to get his US citizenship, while petitioning his children from a previous marriage.

"She was the rock of the family. She was the glue. She always was very generous, very helpful at times, always a giving person. It’s just sad that somebody that good was taken away from us,” said Nozelle.

They believed that kindness may have led to Infante taking advantage of her.

They said Tomas, who had trouble keeping jobs, used his wife’s money to gamble, and start several failed businesses.

Leticia recalled from her talks with Charito and reading from her late sister’s diary, that Infante would steal money from her wallet to send to the Philippines as he converted the family’s garage into a gambling den.

During last month’s jury trial, it was believed that Infante murdered his wife after his girlfriend discovered that he was married.

Infante allegedly beat and stabbed Tolentino to death at their home. He then left her dead body inside a car at a casino parking lot some 20 miles away.

Infante’s son from a previous marriage allegedly helped him dispose of the victim’s body. The son was given immunity after he testified against his father.

Tolentino was also ordered to pay $11,000 in restitution. None of Infante’s family members attended the hearing.

While the couple’s daughter, who is now in the East Coast did not attend the sentencing, a letter was read on her behalf condemning her estranged father, and saying that she is legally distancing herself from him, including dropping his last name.

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