Donna Lozano always knew that her son’s killer would die behind bars, it just happened a lot sooner than she thought it would.
“People have choices and that gutter rat made the wrong choice and now he’s gone, too,” Lozano said in an exclusive interview with KESQ/CBS Local 2 reporter Joe Galli.
Since December 19, 2001 Lozano has to get by after her son, 20-year-old Marine Cpl. Henry Lozano was shot to death by Desert Hot Springs gang member Emilio Manuel Avalos.
Henry Lozano had started seeing Avalos’ ex-girlfriend just before he was murdered, six days before Christmas.
Avalos was found dead in his cell in San Quentin on Wednesday.
“I feel that it has taken a burden off my shoulders. I was concerned that when it is time for me to close my eyes that the burden would be on my children to make sure to see whatever happens to him and I feel relieved,” Lozano said.
Avalos was also convicted for murdering 17-year-old Jahi Collins. Lozano called Collins’ mother and was the first let her know that the man who took both their sons lives was now dead.
“She didn’t know either I just called her to tell her. And she was just in amazement and she had not been called either,” Lozano said.
Even after confronting Avalos in the courtroom during testimony, Lozano never got an apology.“I don’t have hate in my heart. If I was next to him I probably would have pounded the crap out of him until he apologized to me or said something that meant something,” Lozano said.
Since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1978, about 100 inmates have died of natural causes or take their own lives. Only 13 have been executed. Lozano knew the odds of Avalos being executed were low.“I’m sad that he was raised like a devil, and he had to meet that devil sooner than I thought. I knew that he would never be executed, so I was content that he would be rotting slowly until he did die,” Lozano said.
The holiday season has always been hard for the Lozanos, especially since Henry died so close to Christmas. But with their son’s killer now dead, Donna for the first time in several years, is looking forward to the holidays.