Sentinel staff report–
Mario Andreas Contreras was sentenced on Wednesday to serve 50 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a Citrus Heights teen in the head, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Savage handed down the sentencing, which the DA’s office said was the maximum allowable punishment for the first-degree murder conviction involved.
The shooting occurred on May 31, 2015, when Contreras, then 18, approached a group of young people looking for 16-year-old Erik Ozee, who he thought may have robbed him. Ozee ran from the group after Contreras asked for him, and was subsequently chased down and shot in the head by Contreras.
According to news reports at the time, a neighbor recalled hearing six shots fired during the incident, which occurred on the 5600 block of Skyridge Drive in Orangevale. Ozee was pronounced dead at the scene and Contreras was arrested the following day.
Nearly three years later, on April 31 of this year, a jury convicted Contreras of first-degree murder with the use of a gun in the killing.
A public Facebook group called “Remembering Erik Ozee” was set up shortly after Ozee’s death and still features regular posts from family and friends in memory of the teen.
“It’s finally over today. We got some justice, but it will never replace the smiles you put on our faces,” one post in the group said after the Aug. 8 sentencing. “We love and miss you so much.”