Third person sentenced for beating death of Detroit firefighter

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The last of three people charged with brutally murdering Detroit firefighter David Madrigal was sentenced to jail Friday.

The judged approved a guilty plea bargain by Nicole O’Neill for second degree murder and today she was sentenced to 20 to 50 years in prison. Madrigal, 59, was killed in a robbery at his Detroit home in 2015. His SUV was stolen and set on fire.

While today in court, Madrigal’s daughter said the sentence won't ease the pain of her loss.

"I hope you feel the pain I feel every day when I wake up," said Christina Madrigal, the victim's daughter. "And remember this isn't a nightmare, this is my life. My father won't be able to walk me down the aisle, he won't meet his grandchildren, and he'll never enjoy the retirement he worked 26 years dedicating himself to the city of Detroit. Twenty-six years in prison is nothing compared to what you took - the life of my father."

Timmy Soto and Christian Rasnick were also convicted. Soto will spend at least 40 years behind bars and Rasnick was sentenced to 10 to 30 years.

O’Neill had a chance to speak to the family at Friday's sentencing but instead shook her head no when asked by the judge.


During sentencing last December, Soto apologized for what he did.

"I apologize to the family for what I did. I know I was wrong I wasn't in the right state of mind," Soto said.

Madrigal worked for the fire department for 26 years and was assigned to Engine 33 on Lawndale. He was a member of the Honor Guard and was set to retire.

Madrigal's son went to check on him, finding him dead in a chair while an upstairs bedroom at his Vaughan Street home was ransacked and a floor safe was stolen.

"He was laid back in his recliner with his feet up," said his son, David Madrigal Jr. during Soto's sentencing. "Blood coming out of his nose, forehead and ears."

Madrigal knew Soto and had paid him to do odd jobs for him. When the firefighter learned about Soto's criminal background, he decided to cut ties.

"He was taken out while sleeping - by a coward," David Madrigal said during Soto's sentencing. "I hope that this animal over here doesn't last a week and I don't see a b**** like him lasting a week."