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Saturday, March 19, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Alki Shooter, 16, Gets 47 Years In Prison

Sheryl Hernandez's family celebrated her 28th birthday this week with a cake, candles and song. But the guest of honor wasn't there.

Her mother, Lillian Hernandez, stood less than 15 feet yesterday from the 16-year-old boy being sentenced for killing Sheryl Hernandez last summer near Alki Beach and told him about the very personal cost of his act of violence.

"So why are you telling me?" Aries Faletogo asked her defiantly.

"Because I want you to feel something. I want you to know how we feel," she replied.

Faletogo's question marked the only words he spoke before a King County judge sentenced him to 47 years in prison for Hernandez's murder and the attempted murder of her companion, Ernest Chris Roybal.

The apparent randomness of Faletogo's attack was chilling. He approached the couple as they sat talking on a park bench Aug. 15, asked the time, then fired three shots. Two struck and killed Hernandez. One hit Roybal in the left eye.

Faletogo then apparently returned to a group of friends waiting for him nearby and, smiling, said, "Murder on the boulevard."

Faletogo will be 56 years old on his earliest possible release date, assuming he earns good time.

The 47-year sentence was the maximum standard sentence for the crimes. Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Marchese said she looked for legal grounds to ask for an even longer sentence but couldn't find any.

Defense attorney David Marshall asked Superior Court Judge

George Finkle to be lenient because of Faletogo's age and give him 36 years in prison.

Finkle said he wasn't giving up and still believes Faletogo has the capacity to change. "Despite the crimes you're convicted of, you're hardly more than a boy," he said. But "the crimes were random, brutal, cold and unprovoked."

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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