Convicted Killer Professes Love for Victim

Melchor Marabante says he believes his love for his murdered wife will prevail

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cynthia Faram
    Marabante looks at the floor at his sentencing in a downtown courtroom Tuesday.

    A former prison nurse who shot and killed his estranged wife and a co-worker will likely live the rest of his life behind bars.

    At his sentencing Tuesday, Melchor Marabante professed his love for his wife Valerie Marabante who he shot and killed along with friend Bernabe Villamar in February 2011.

    Marabante, 43, asked the victims’ families for forgiveness and said he was sorry for acting impulsively when he opened fire inside the Sabre Springs condo he once shared with Valerie.

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    Prosecutors say he waited and watched the two victims before shooting them.

    Valerie Marabante, 23, had served her husband with divorce papers three weeks before the killings.

    “I did love Valerie with all my heart,” Marabante said.

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    Bernabe Villamar Junior and Valerie Marabante were found dead inside a Sabre Springs condo. The two worked as nurses at Donovan State Prison.

    “I am afflicted with sorrow and regrets but I believe in my heart that love will prevail,” he told the families.

    Families of both victims spoke before the sentencing but Hon. Peter Deddeh ordered that victim impact statements not be recorded by the media.

    At one point, Valerie's mother spoke directly to her former son-in-law, telling him that she hated him.

    Just before he sentenced Marabante to 80 years to life on two counts of second-degree murder, Deddeh asked the defendant if the crime was worth the pain it has caused.

    "You killed not out of love, out of selfishness," he told Marabante.

    Villamar, 26, worked alongside the couple at Donovan State Prison in Otay Mesa. He was not romantically involved with Valerie but was her friend prosecutors said.

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