PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The last of three defendants in the brutal beating death of a man inside his own home was sentenced Tuesday.
Abil Teshome was ordered to spend 12.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of Freddy Akoa.
The men ganged up on Akoa after a day of heavy drinking, beating and kicking him, before leaving him for dead.
"Just total injustice," is all Freddy Akoa's brother Francis could say as he left the courthouse.
The prosecutor says he understands his family's frustration. He wanted Abil Teshome to serve 20 years in prison.
"So the judge came in somewhat less than what we thought appropriate. That's the call he made," said Assistant Attorney General John Alsop.
Teshome's attorney says his client's willingness to testify for the state led to guilty pleas for the other two men charged in the case. Mohamed Mohamed was sentenced to 30 years for murder. Osman Sheikh was given a three-year sentence for aggravated assault.
Teshome had never been in trouble before, but he fell in with a bad crowd and started drinking too much. Still his friends and family can't explain why he joined in the beating of Akoa.
"It's a bit of a mystery. It was just an awful thing and he obviously regretted what had happened from that night forward," his attorney Jon Gale said.
Teshome said he did so at the urging of Mohamed, but should have resisted.
"I should have got help for Freddy, but I didn't. I take responsibility and I felt guilty about that night ever since," Teshome told the court.
Teshome is not a US citizen and could be deported upon his release from prison. But with a manslaughter conviction, instead of murder, he stands a chance to remain here.
"Murder conviction, for example, you will be deported. You'll never see the light of day in the United States again," said Gale.
Abil Tashome has already spent two years behind bars. So now he'll have to serve about 10-years in prison before learning if he still has a future in this country.