A former Los Angeles Police Department officer was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a man outside a Pomona bar while he was off-duty in 2015.
The sentencing of Henry Solis, now 32, came down almost exactly five years after he killed Salome Rodriguez Jr. on March 13, 2015.
Solis was convicted last month of one count of second-degree murder, while a jury also found true that he used a firearm during the crime.
Rodriguez walked passed Solis outside the bar before the defendant ran after him and shot him to death, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The victim was 23.
Solis was a probationary officer at the time and was off duty.
He fled to Mexico with the help of his father and was arrested after a massive manhunt two months later.
Surveillance video captured the pair crossing into Juarez, Mexico from El Paso.
The father, Victor Solis, was convicted of lying to FBI agents about his son’s whereabouts by a federal grand jury in Texas the same week that charges were filed against his son.
Solis was fired from the LAPD by then -Chief Charlie Beck.
A year before Solis was convicted, Rodriguez’s mother told KTLA that the case was repeatedly stalled in court and that she and her family had become frustrated with the process.
Lidia A. Rodriguez said she visits the site where her son lay dying every month.
Members of the victims family, including his siblings, spoke during Solis’ sentencing.
Rodriguez recalled the moment she found out her son had died at a hospital, nine hours after he was shot.
“My heart dropped,” she said, crying.
“My son fought, I knew he fought for us. He fought to be home, he fought to be with us,” Rodriguez said outside of the courtroom after the sentencing was read.
Rodriguez said she finally got justice for her son.
“I think we can smile, little by little, day by day,” she said, exhaling sharply. “We won’t have my son back, but this man won’t be free even if he tries.”