An auto-body-shop owner who shot and killed a dissatisfied customer whose car never got fixed was sentenced Friday to 50 years to life in prison for first-degree murder.
Anthony Michael Vigil, now 49, first had to duck a tissue box thrown at him in the courtroom by the widow of 26-year-old Michael Paul Gonzales Jr.
“This man is going to suffer for the rest of his life, his pathetic life, and then for all of eternity, and that’s the only thing that brings me satisfaction,” Jami Bryan said before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Kevin J. McCormick sentenced Vigil.
Vigil ran a business called Anthony’s Body Shop on Amalgam Way, just off Sunrise Boulevard in an industrial neighborhood near Gold River. According to Vigil’s probation report, Gonzales brought his car into the shop several months before he was killed the night of Oct. 6, 2011.
“The defendant stated the work would be completed in approximately one week,” the probation report said.
When it still wasn’t done a week after that, Gonzales “called, texted and emailed the defendant numerous times, but never received a call or text back,” according to the probation report.
Vigil later told Gonzales “there were issues with his insurance company paying for the repairs,” the report said.
Two weeks before the shooting, Gonzales met another customer who said he was having trouble with Vigil. Gonzales agreed to accompany the other man to Vigil’s shop to serve him with a small-claims suit, the probation report said.
Gonzales and the other man arrived at the shop about 10 p.m. the night of the shooting. When Vigil arrived later, the report said, he retrieved a shotgun from inside his shop, called 911 and told the California Highway Patrol dispatcher, “Hold on, I’m going to shoot these (expletive).”
The dispatcher heard one gunshot before the line went dead. Paramedics pronounced Gonzales dead at the scene. Vigil waited for sheriff’s deputies to arrest him.
He claimed the shooting was in self-defense.
Vigil has a past felony conviction for filing a false insurance report in 1997 that put him in jail for 10 days and on probation for five years, according to the probation report. The record also shows that he was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2004 for driving without a license.
At Friday’s sentencing, Gonzales’ family described him as a devoted father of a son who was 3 years old at the time of the fatal shooting.
Jami Bryan, the boy’s mother, said it tears her up every time she hears him say, “I miss my daddy.”
Mike Gonzales’ mother said all Vigil had to do was call her son up and nothing would have happened.
“They didn’t think it was going to take all these months,” Eva Gonzales said.
Eva Gonzales wished her son’s car had never been damaged so he never would have had to take it in to get fixed.
“But it wasn’t the car’s fault,” she said. “It’s Anthony’s fault.”