KENT, Wash. (TCD) -- A judge has sentenced a man to nearly four decades behind bars for strangling and shooting his girlfriend on a park trail, causing her to die from her injuries.
In a statement, the Kent Police Department announced Giovanni Herrin was sentenced to 37 years in prison for killing his 18-year-old girlfriend, Karyme Barreto-Sabalza, in 2018. Kent Police said Herrin had already been convicted twice in connection with Barreto-Sabalza’s death. Court records show he was found guilty again in July.
On June 16, 2018, Herrin, who was 19 at the time, "lured" Barreto-Sabalza to Salt Air Vista Park in Kent, then strangled her and shot her in the head. He fled, stole her car, took money from her bank account, and used the cash to buy marijuana. Police said Herrin left an injured Barreto-Sabalza on the park trail. A witness reportedly found her and called for help, but Barreto-Sabalza died from her injuries.
According to Kent Police, Barreto-Sabalza was killed only a few days before she was set to graduate from high school. She had planned to attend nursing school on a scholarship.
King County Jail records show Herrin was arrested June 19, 2018.
On July 4, 2018, Herrin was transported to Harborview Medical Center but escaped, got into a nearby Lyft, and hit the driver, according to KOMO-TV. A jail officer followed Herrin and shot him. Officials took him back to the hospital for treatment.
The Seattle Times reports Barreto-Sabalza told a friend prior to her killing she was "literally so scared for my life" because Herrin was "crazy." She also reportedly said if anything ever happened to her, "report it and say it was Gio."
Herrin told police someone else killed Barreto-Sabalza and he was being framed, but investigators found an ATM receipt in her car from "the time right after the homicide."
Kent Police said in their statement, "The conviction and sentencing will not bring Karyme back, but it does bring some measure of justice to the people who loved her."