Berardoni also noted that Danny suffers from diabetes and that his health is deteriorating.

Danny's two daughters were among about a dozen supporters who urged the judge to impose probation.

His youngest daughter, Celia, called her uncle Michael "a belligerent drunk" who is incapable of caring for himself, financially or otherwise. She suggested that whatever Danny had done was for the greater good.

Michael Carbajal is hoisted by his brothers Danny (left) and Angel after winning his first world championship.
Michael Carbajal is hoisted by his brothers Danny (left) and Angel after winning his first world championship.

As for her slain mother, Celia said, "I loved my mom to death, and I just miss her."

Celia's older sister, Josephine, blamed their mother's alcoholism for the subsequent intra-familial thefts.

"I'm not only my dad's daughter, but I'm his best friend," Josephine said, adding that she had decided to break the law on her own, not because Danny had told her to.

Danny Carbajal spoke briefly.

"I'm here because I broke the law," he told the judge, "and I apologize for that."

Judge Klein spoke about Danny's positive qualities but said his story, unfortunately, didn't stop there.

Klein said the facts of the case were "very disturbing," a family tragedy that included "greed and a pattern of wrongdoing spread out over three years . . . a sophisticated scheme."

Speaking slowly, the judge referred to Sally's homicide, saying it had "inexplicably" occurred shortly before her ugly divorce trial with Danny was set to start.

Klein told Danny he couldn't consider Sally's murder for this sentencing because "you have not been charged with that crime."

But the judge's powerful words hung heavy over the courtroom as a Phoenix homicide detective took notes in the back row.

Finally, he ordered Danny to serve 54 months in prison, six months less than the five years requested by prosecutor Van Wie. He must serve at least 3 1/2 years before he is eligible for parole.

As his two daughters looked on, Danny Carabajal was handcuffed and taken into custody by sheriff's deputies.

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