TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - It has been 23 years since Marie Menendez has had to re-live her husband’s murder. Two decades later, it doesn't get easier
"When I saw him in his boxer shorts and shirt and a whole lot of blood, he was shot in the heart," sobbed Menendez.
Richard Menendez tried to fight off armed robbers who had broken into his home in the middle of the night. One of them was 16-year-old Lolita Barthel, who shot Menendez to death.
She was convicted and given a life sentence. However, recently the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to give juvenile offenders a chance at parole.
At a re-sentencing hearing last week, Barthel listened to the woman whose life she shattered decades ago.
Menendez remembered coming home to find her husband’s lifeless body.
“I saw the bottom of his feet. I said, 'Oh my God, Rick, did you faint?' I threw the packages in my hand down and I went over to him," she recalled.
But a psychologist who testified earlier said Barthel had been molested as a child and the abuse continued for years. She says, early on, Barthel was arrested for petty crimes that got more and more violent.
The day of the home invasion robbery, she says, Barthel snapped.
None of that matters to Marie Menendez. "She needs to pay for what’s she’s done," she insisted through tears.
The widow still wants Barthel to stay locked up for life. After all, she feels, Barthel has handed her a life sentence of anguish and heartbreak.
The judge is expected to rule on Barthel's parole in the next few weeks.