Almeda sentenced to 75 years in prison for death of girlfriend, Bree Moore
Last updated at 9:46 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19
Emotions were high in court on Tuesday as the family of Breanna Moore testified against her killer, Joshua Almeda. Their testimony was part of his sentencing hearing, which was held over two days. At the end of the hearings, Superior Court Judge Philip Volland sentenced Almeda to 75 years in prison.
Almeda pleaded guilty in July to murder charges relating to Moore’s death, although he maintained his claim that the shooting was an accident throughout the court process.
The second day of Almeda’s hearing began with a video tribute to Moore, highlighting moments of a life her mother said was lived to the fullest.
“She lived more than most people live in a lifetime,” Cindy Moore told the court, reading aloud from a prepared statement.
Breanna Moore’s father, Butch Moore, took a different approach when he took the stand. He claimed that, once released, Almeda would inevitably hurt someone else, as he had Breanna.
“He’ll obtain a firearm. He’ll become in a relationship with a woman. He’ll drink, because no one can stop it. As his father said in his own letter, ‘There’s nothing I could have done to prevent it,’ and that next woman will be dead,” he said.
Almeda will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years, when he is 49. However, the judge ordered Almeda to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before he is ever released from prison because of his borderline personality disorder and severe substance abuse problem, as discussed in expert testimony from psychologist Dr. Mark Zelig Monday. The board-certified psychologist testified people with borderline personality disorder can often improve with age and treatment, but Dr. Zelig said there is no guarantee.
Judge Volland said he wasn’t going to restrict Almeda’s parole because there is a chance that he will get better as time goes by, but the question about his safety in the community will have to be answered in that evaluation before he is released. The judge said if he were to release him now, Almeda would pose a threat to the community and would likely reoffend.
Judge Volland called Almeda’s outlook extremely poor in the short term and guarded in the long term.
Almeda’s parents spoke briefly, saying they tried to get him treatment. They also said they haven’t given up on him and that they still love him.
“We didn’t enable him your honor,” said Almeda’s mother, Shannon. “We really tried to help him get the help he needed and we supported him because we love him. He’s our son.”
Almeda told the court he was “truly sorry,” and that he’d lost the love of his life.
“There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about Breanna and I live and carry that burden with me, in heartache, every day,” Almeda said. “I deeply regret and am sorry for my actions that night. I’d give anything to have Breanna back. I’m sorry I took your daughter and granddaughter, sister and friend away from you.”
Breanna Moore’s sisters, Brooke and Brandi, also testified, carrying with them a bag containing her ashes.
“I hate that another family also loses someone. I feel bad for them. I feel bad that they put him in this position, to possibly not have to see him for a very long time. But at least they still get to talk to him,” said Brandi Moore, Bree’s older sister. “I can’t ever talk to her again. I can’t hug her. I can’t tell her how much I miss her.”
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