Gang member gets life in prison for murder of witness

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jun 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-11 00:13:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY – A Salt Lake gang member was sentenced Monday more than five years after gunning down a man in what prosecutors have called a revenge killing.

Anthony Prater, 29, shot and killed Vincent Samora more than five years ago, and Monday he was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Chris Gonzalez, Samora’s nephew, spoke about the sentence.

"We’re satisfied with that,” he said. “He'll sit in a box for the rest of his life and think about who he took from us. Our family is very hurt and very devastated by losing my Uncle Vincent, he was a really good man and he did a lot of good things for a lot of people out there.”

Ramona Gonzalez is Samora’s mother, and she said she doesn’t feel the way she expected to feel about the sentence.

"You know the hard part is, I thought I'd feel better but I don't,” she said. “I want my son, and that's something that’s not going to happen."

Prosecutors said the murder of Samora was an act of revenge. During the trial it was revealed the victim was scheduled to testify against a member of Prater’s gang. Prater followed Samora from a Glendale 7-Eleven to Samora’s mother’s home and shot him.

Assistant District Attorney Vincent Meister said the sentence fits the nature of the crime.

"I think the judge imposed the appropriate sentence,” he said. “I think the message is out there that you tamper with witnesses, you kill witnesses, that the maximum sentence will be imposed."

Samora’s family said at least they know that Prater will never do to anyone else what he did to them.