READING, Pa. - A man convicted of attempted murder in the shooting of an 11-year-old boy in Reading has learned his fate.
A Berks County Judge sentenced Cesar Tavarez to 33-70 years behind bars, after he was found guilty in the shooting of 11-year-old Melvin Parker on West Oley Street in Reading a couple years ago.
Authorities said Parker had a haircut inside a nearby barbershop and was on his way to Hersheypark with his mom and her boyfriend when it unfolded.
Prosecutors said it could have become a murder, telling the courtroom that it's "something close to a miracle that's not the case."
The prosecution recommended a sentence of 38-70 years, saying that Tavarez poses a great threat to the community.
Members of Parker's family testified. They asked for the maximum sentence, also saying that Parker will never be the same and that he never deserved this at all.
The defense asked the judge to consider that Tavarez had prior mental health treatment when previously released from prison.
Tavarez's defense team asked the judge to consider a sentence of 15-30 years, saying he can become a better version of himself...
His defense attorney said the shorter sentence "Sends a message to this community that this violence is not condoned."