The second man convicted of killing four people aboard a charter boat at sea learned his fate on Wednesday.
A jury convicted Guillermo Zarabozo of kidnapping and murder, among other charges, in connection with the killings of four people aboard the "Joe Cool" charter boat in September 2007.
The former Hialeah security guard was 19 years old when he and Arkansas fugitive Kirby Archer chartered the Joe Cool off Miami Beach for a purported trip to Bimini. Instead, prosecutors said, they hijacked the boat and killed the crewmembers, including Capt. Jake Branam, his wife, Kelly, crew member Scott Campbell and Capt. Samuel Kairy.
Zarabozo maintained his innocence until the end, saying that Archer, who already is serving a life sentence for the crime, was the only killer and duped him into the trip and the killings.
"I'm really sorry for the loss of your family members," Zarabozo said in court. "But I had nothing to do with it. When I got on that boat, I didn't know what Archer was going to do. I'm a victim of Archer, too."
Family and friends packed the courtroom on Wednesday morning. Zarabozo himself addressed the judge during his sentencing hearing, joining a roster of people who spoke. But the judge said Zarabozo's story was all lies and sentenced him to five life sentences for the murders and conspiracy plus 85 more years for a dozen other charges.
Zarabozo and his father, who also addressed the court, did not show remorse, and family members of the victims showed a lack of forgiveness, as well.
"I hope you live a long life and suffer," a relative of Branam told Zarabozo at the hearing.
Outside the courthouse, family members reacted to the sentencing.
"He's going to be in a jail cell for the rest of his life. He's going to leave jail in a wooden box," said Jonathon Branam, a cousin of two of the victims. "While I get to enjoy freedom the rest of my life, I'm going to think about that. I think I'd rather be dead than be in a cell my whole life."
"If any good has come out of this, I think we've gotten a soon-to-be hardened criminal off the streets," said Joe Branam Sr., the victim's grandfather.
"I basically just wanted him to understand or try to grasp on how much pain he's put so many people through. I just don't think he's capable of understanding that," said Amie Gamble, sister-in-law to Kelly one of the victims, and sister to two others jake and Scott.
Archer also is serving five consecutive life sentences. He pleaded guilty and said he and Zarabozo each killed two crew members.