It didn't escape the notice of murder victim James Wallmuth III's father that Kenneth Santiago-Curet wore a rosary around his neck in York County Court Monday.
Santiago-Curet, 20, of West Princess Street, was the fourth and final co-defendant to be sentenced for his role in the murder of Wallmuth III two years ago during a botched robbery in York City's Foundry Park.
"I can only hope you find out what it's used for," Jim Wallmuth Jr. told him just moments before Santiago-Curet was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison.
The grieving father said he hopes Santiago-Curet uses the rosary for comfort and peace -- "because I have to use mine every day in search of those same things."
On Monday, Santiago-Curet pleaded guilty to robbery
The murder: Wallmuth III was sitting on a park bench near the corner of Grant Street and West Clarke Avenue on July 28, 2010, talking to his girlfriend on his cellphone, York City Police said.
He was approached by then-15-year-old Jordan Wallick, who tried to rob him. But when Wallmuth resisted the robbery, Wallick fatally shot him in the back, according to police.
Santiago-Curet testified at Wallick's trial, admitting he gave the teen the loaded gun and waited nearby for Wallick to commit the stickup.
Now 17, Wallick was found guilty April 5 of second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole; defense attorney Dawn Cutaia is appealing.
"He went out to see friends," Wallmuth Jr. said about his son. "He wasn't out looking for trouble."
Restitution: He also commented on the fact that Santiago-Curet's defense attorney, Sandra Thompson, initially balked that her client is responsible for half of the nearly $10,000 owed for restitution. She argued the four co-defendants in the case should be equally responsible.
"There's no amount of restitution you can give our family
Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner noted that children aren't supposed to die before their parents.
"This has been a terrible ordeal you've had to go through," he said to the Wallmuth family. "Hopefully, this is the final chapter."
'Dirty work': The judge then turned his attention to Santiago-Curet.
"From my point of view, you're as guilty as the person who pulled the trigger," Bortner said. "You put a gun in the hand of a 15-year-old boy and, in some ways, you asked him to do your dirty work."
The judge then asked Santiago-Curet
"No one can beat him up more than he has beaten himself up," she said, struggling to hold back tears. "If any comfort can be given, he's extremely repentant and he thinks about what he's done every day."
Wallmuth, 28, of West Manchester Township, worked in the York County District Attorney's Office for about four years as a case manager, but left his job to attend law school at the University of Pittsburgh. He was back in York to do an internship at a local law firm, his father said.
Others charged: Two other co-defendants, Joshua Edmoundson and Victor Nelson Virola, have been sentenced for their roles in the murder.
Edmoundson, 20, of Waldorf Drive
He was sentenced to a total of five to 10 years in prison for the entire crime spree.
Virola, 19, of South Duke Street, had the smallest role in the crime, according to prosecutors. He pleaded no contest to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and given a time-served sentence of 11½ to 23 months in county prison.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at email@example.com.