Pair sentenced to 11 years in 1995 shooting of UCSD professor; third granted probation
By JAMES R. RIFFEL and KELLY WHEELERTwo men who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the 1995 shooting death of a UCSD professor during a robbery were sentenced Friday to 11 years in state prison, while a third was granted three years probation.
Khoi Bruster, 33, Edul Azeez, 35, and Buzie Weimer, 34, pleaded guilty in the Nov. 14, 1995, slaying of 30-year-old David Hessler, who was killed just four months away from his wedding day.
Hessler was shot when he interrupted a group of five burglars as they tried to steal computer equipment out of his car, which was parked outside his University City home.
Bruster and Azeez, the getaway driver, each received the maximum term of 11 years, while Weimer, who Judge Robert O’Neill said “stepped up to the plate” when contacted by police in 2008, received three years probation.
If Weimer violates the terms of probation, he will be imprisoned for three years.The triggerman, 33-year-old Alvin Timbol, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Timbol was sentenced last month to 25 years to life in state prison.
A fifth defendant, 31-year-old Alvin Figuracion, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to a suspended six-year prison term, five years probation and given credit for more than a year in jail.
The case went unsolved until February 2008, when a review of fingerprint evidence led detectives to Weimer, who was living in Idaho.
Weimer’s attorney, Daniel Mangarin, said his client told detectives, ‘I know what you’re here for,’ and went on to describe what happened.
When Timbol pulled a gun on the professor, Weimer yelled at him not to shoot, Mangarin said. His client has lived a productive life since then, he said.
“It’s very well possible that without this defendant, the other suspects may never have become known to the police,” the judge said.
Deputy District Attorney Jim Koerber agreed that Weimer’s cooperation was helpful in solving the case.
Weimer has been in protective custody since his arrest.
His mother, Susan Miller, apologized to the Hessler family but said her son would not be a danger to society.
“He will take ownership (of his situation) without needing me to prompt him,” Miller said.