CROWN POINT | A 20-year-old Hammond man was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for the gang-related fatal shooting of Alonzo Cavazos, of East Chicago.
Julius Solis was acquitted May 14 of murder charges in the shooting but found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
During Tuesday's sentencing hearing, Melba Figueroa told the court her three young children lost "a great father who made people laugh."
Her daughter asks who is going to walk her down the aisle when she is married, Figueroa said. Her son gave up baseball because his father isn't there.
The 31-year-old Cavazos was shot in the back of the head May 3, 2009, outside his father's house in the 4800 block of Walsh Avenue.
Relatives of Cavazos contend the man was shot because Solis believes he had some knowledge or involvement in his brother's death six months earlier.
One of the men in Cavazos' company on the day of the shootings is an uncharged suspect in the death of Solis' brother.
Some half-hour after the Cavazos shooting, Solis' uncle, Alejandro Solis, 47, was shot dead in a separate shooting in the 3900 block of Parrish Avenue in East Chicago.
On the day of the shootings, Solis claimed he and a younger brother were walking in the alley at 148th Street and Walsh Avenue when several men approached, one or two of whom pulled their guns.
Solis admitted to police both he and the other shooters were members of the Imperial Gangsters.
While defense attorneys argued Solis had struck Cavazos while firing in self-defense, prosecutors said Solis fired first with the crossfire coming later.