Family reacts to 53-year sentence for murder of store clerk

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Emotions ran high in court on Friday, as 38-year old Frankie Resto was sentenced in the killing of 70-year old Meriden grandfather Ibrahim Ghazal.

Judge Patrick Clifford said he could not think of a more cowardly act. The 70-year old husband, father and grandfather left his country of Jordan to pursue the American dream, and one month after putting all of his money into a business in Meriden, he was robbed and murdered.

Resto was caught on surveillance video as he walked into a Meriden gas station on June 27, 2012.

He robbed Ghazal, who was unarmed, and then shot him in the chest. Authorities said Ghazal died on the scene.

Resto told police he was high on heroine and said in court that he never intended to pull the trigger.

Through tears, the victim’s family read their impact statements, and Resto gave his side of the story.

“We ask the court to remember the sentence we have suffered as you consider the sentence you will impose on the criminal who murdered my father,” victim’s daughter Marvet Ghazal read in a statement to the court.

“Today the court will consider the sentence of Prisoner #283901, that’s his number I guess,” Marvet said. “[He] does not deserve the respect of a name.”

“I feel for the family,” said Resto in his statement to the court. “It was an accident. There’s not much I can say. I’m willing to deal with whatever comes.”

Resto entered a plea, which means he acknowledges the state had overwhelming evidence against him but also means he did not admit guilt.

Resto’s friends did not want to comment.

The judge gave him 53 years for murder and robbery.

“It’s not enough,” said Fapyo Ghazal, the victim’s son. ” I feel very sad because my dad he’s gone. Why’d they give him just 53 years.”

Fapyo said it’s been difficult explaining his father’s death to his 7-year old daughter.

She wants to know why her grandfather is gone.

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