Two men who tortured a college student to reveal where her family kept valuables and then strangled her in her home have been sentenced to death.
Ronald Tri Tran and Noel Jesse Plata, both 33, were sentenced Friday in Orange County Superior Court for the November 1995 slaying of 18-year-old Linda Park in Irvine, Calif.
They were arrested in 2001 after tests on DNA found at the crime scene linked them to Park's killing. They were convicted in October of first-degree murder with special circumstances that the killing occurred during the commission of a robbery, a burglary and through torture.
Tran apologized before he was sentenced.
"I pray to Linda. I pray for her soul every day," Tran said. "I also pray that one day you and your family will be forgiving also. I'm so sorry."
He also apologized for "bringing shame to my family."
Park's sister and her father, who found his daughter's battered body, wept as Tran spoke.
Prosecutors said the gang members found Park alone at home and hogtied her with twine, slashed her throat, and struck her until she led them to about $800 in cash and some family jewelry.
They strangled her with an electrical cord to prevent her from identifying them, Baytieh said.
Plata already was in prison at the time he was charged with Park's murder. He was serving a life term for shooting to death a 19-year-old man in Garden Grove seven months after Park's death.