Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people on December 2, 2015. Farook enrolled his wife's assistance in targeting San Bernardino County employees, his former colleagues, during a holiday meeting. The incident was the deadliest terror attack since 9/11. Farook and Malik had pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State and planned to travel to Afghanistan to target American troops.
The murderous couple successfully carried out the attack with the help of Enrique Marquez Jr., who supplied them with the weapons. The terrorist couple died during their confrontation with police officers, leaving Marquez to face justice alone. Now a Californian court has sentenced the accomplice a hefty sentence.
The 28-year old will spend 20 years in prison for his role in the attack. Prosecutors sought a 25-year sentence, while the defense asked for a jail term of five years. The unrepentant criminal showed no remorse during the hearing, as the families begged for a harsher sentence. The prosecution pointed out that the accused knew that the couple was inspired by Islamic fundamentalism.
Marquez also knew and was part of a plot to kill many people, according to the prosecution's evidence. However, he deliberately provided them with firearms and explosives used in slaying the innocent Americans.
"He knew all along that this would happen, but he did nothing," Melanie Sartoris, a federal prosecutor, said.
The defense claimed that Farook manipulated him since he was 13-years old. John Aquilina, Marquez's attorney, claimed that his client was desperate to socialize and was escaping abuse at home when he met the attack's mastermind. Aquilina added that Marquez had stopped speaking to Farook years before the attack happened.
"Mr. Marquez's sentence should not be reflective of what happened in San Bernardino," Aquilina said.
Marquez spent a lot of time in Farook's house and developed an interest in "radical Islamic content," according to authorities. U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal considered that Marquez cooperated with the investigation and called 911.
"In a legal sense, I cannot punish Mr. Marquez for your loss," Judge Bernal told the families. "He is not responsible for the murders."
Despite the modest sentence, Marquez was guilty in every respect and deserved a longer sentence. We can only hope that in the future, the law would allow more punitive penalties for individuals like Marquez, who abuse their rights in assisting criminals and Islamic terrorists in murdering innocent Americans.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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