A man convicted in the brutal slaying of his 11-year-old sister when he was just 14 took the witness stand Monday as he attempts to have his life sentence reduced.
Ronald Salazar, now 24, was convicted in the 2005 rape and murder of his sister, who was strangled and had her throat slashed. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
"This tragedy has changed me," a crying Salazar said as he took the stand Monday.
Salazar is hoping the hearing will pave the way for a reduction in his sentence. Shortly after he was sentenced, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a juvenile could not be given a life term without the possibility of parole.
Salazar's defense argues the teen became resentful and suicidal after his parents left him behind when they moved to the U.S. from El Salvador. He spent 10 years with his grandparents before his parents finally sent for him.
The hearing will continue Tuesday.