KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A man accused of killing two people in two counties in southwestern Michigan has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for one of the crimes.
A Kalamazoo County judge sentenced 33-year-old Zachary Patten on Monday after he was convicted last month of the first-degree murder of Graciela Portillo-Esparza last July.
The mother of four was fatally shot after stepping between her brother and Patten, who were arguing.
A detective testified Patten admitted shooting Portillo-Esparza, but said he was aiming for her brother, Oscar Portillo, the ex-boyfriend of Patten's girlfriend.
Patten is also charged with murder in St. Joseph County. Police say he drove about 30 miles after killing Portillo-Esparza and shot his ex-wife's husband. A trial date for that case hasn't been set.