Man who killed ex-girlfriend in Orange County apartment sentenced to life in prison

Valentin-Penchi arrested in Puerto Rico

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – An Orange County judge sentenced 33-year-old Christian Valentin-Penchi to life in prison on Friday.

According to state prosecutors, he confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend, 23-year-old Vanessa Cocly, a year ago.

Her mother and sister were present at his hearing and described their pain to the court.

"Vanessa was the oldest. My big sister. She was our protector. She loved all her siblings," the victim's sister Jocelyne Cocly said.

Valentin-Penchi was arrested in Puerto Rico a day after Cocly's body was found at his apartment in April 2018.

Prosecutors said the 23-year-old was shot in the head in his bathroom after the two had an argument.

"As Vanessa's mother, you will never understand what you have done by taking my first born," Cocly's mother said during the sentencing.

The victim was a nursing student and had just gotten a new job before her death. 

"I want to say to the victim's family I'm sorry. I'm deeply sorry. It wasn't me, it was something out of the ordinary, I was the under the influence of drugs and that wasn't me that night and I'm deeply sorry." said Valentin-Penchi.

Valentin-Penchi confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. 

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