YOUNGSTOWN - Even though he was convicted of murder just moments earlier, Daro Correa insisted he was innocent just before he was sentenced Tuesday to 43 years in prison.
Correa, 22, who has addresses on the South Side and Bronx, N.Y., said he did not kill 30-year-old Randy Capelli of Campbell, whose body was found on Shady Run Road New Year's morning, 2011, with six gunshot wounds to the head and neck.
Just before Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge John Durkin handed down his sentence, Correa said he was sorry that Capelli was dead but that he did not pull the trigger.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle / WYTV 33 News
Daro Correa, 22, of Youngstown and Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced to 43 years in prison on Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. He was convicted of the Jan. 1, 2011, gunshot death of Randy Capelli of Campbell.
''I'm not guilty,'' Correa said. ''Even though his family looks at me like I'm a monster, I wasn't raised that way. I had no reason to shoot that man.''
Earlier in the morning, jurors found Correa guilty of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and arson, as well as a specification that a firearm was used to commit the murder and robbery.
A co-defendant testified that he was in a car with Capelli and Correa when Capelli was shot and that Correa had a gun, although he did not see Correa shoot the gun.
Jurors heard closing arguments Monday and deliberated Monday afternoon before reaching their verdicts about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Shortly after the verdict, Correa was sentenced.
Capelli's brother, Vince Capelli, urged Durkin to give Correa the maximum sentence possible, saying his brother did not deserve to be murdered and left in the middle of the street. His brother had two children, Vince Capelli said.
''Don't show him any leniency,'' Capelli told Durkin.
Durkin said despite the trial testimony, there was never a motive offered for Capelli's murder. Although he had been battling a drug problem, Durkin said that is no excuse for his murder.
''It is clear no matter what demons Randy Capelli fought, he did not deserve to die as he did,'' Durkin said.
Correa was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder; 11 years for the aggravated robbery; three years for the tampering with evidence; and with the firearm specification added, he must serve a minimum of 43 years.
Durkin said he made all the sentences consecutive because society must be protected from Correa.