The man accused of killing the father of District 34 state Rep. Abel Herrero was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week.

Jurors emerged from lengthy deliberations May 22 to sentence 57-year-old Manuel Chapa Garcia to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for causing the death of 59-year-old Ivan Alfonso Herrero during an Oct. 5 incident at a Denny's Restaurant.

Garcia struck Herrero twice after a verbal dispute about a place in line broke out. Herrero fell and hit his head on the floor, causing injuries that would later kill him.

Garcia had been found guilty May 19 of manslaughter, a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, as well as up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant had been facing a first-degree murder charge, as well as the possibility of being convicted of aggravated assault or criminally negligent homicide.

Witnesses for the prosecution, including the defendant's then-wife, described Garcia as a bully and a "monster" who said he had sent Herrero "to Hell."

Defense witnesses, including members of Garcia's family and his neighbors, said they were surprised to learn of Herrero's death by Garcia's hand, because the man they knew would not act with violence unless provoked.

However, during closing arguments last week, all of the witnesses admitted they did not know Garcia had previously been on probation in 1984 for possession of a firearm and marijuana.

After the ruling was announced, family for Garcia broke into tears and loud sobs as the defendant was allowed to say "goodbye" to his family before being led away to begin serving his sentence.

Abel Herrero had no comment Monday on the verdict.

Defense attorney Kenneth Botary said last week that he planned to file an appeal against the ruling.