Bessman Okafor sentenced to life in prison in home invasion

Okafor faces life in prison for home invasion linked to homicide

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The man found guilty of robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm in a home invasion that police say is linked to a homicide was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.


Bessman Okafor, who was convicted in a home invasion police say is linked to the murder of 19-year-old Alex Zaldivar, broke into a home with co-defendant Nolan Bernard and later killed one of the key witnesses in the home invasion case, police say.

Okafor was sentenced to five concurrent life sentences on Friday. Bernard was also sentenced to life in prison.

Zaldivar's father spoke at the sentencing calling Bernard and Okafor "coward" and "savage."

William Herrington, who was also a victim of the home invasion, told the judge he still looks over his shoulder when he's out in public.

"The scum bags that sit over there today, I just hope you could feel some of the pain we feel because you guys disgust me," Herrington said.

Outside, friends and family huddled in prayer and looked ahead to the murder trial where someone will be held accountable for Alex's death.

"We're pushing for change," said Brianna Campos, who was also in the home during the robbery. "We want them to get the same consequences, as well."

Both Okafor and Bernard were found guilty of one count of burglary of a dwelling with a firearm, four counts of robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.

The judge on Friday vacated the aggravated assault charges with a firearm conviction for Okafor and Bernard, calling it double jeopardy.

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